Press Release

Anera Renovates Ancient Site in Jericho

November 20, 2008 | Jericho, West Bank  The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and American Near East Refugee Aid (Anera) held an inauguration ceremony at Hisham’s Palace.

This 1,300 year-old archeological site, near Jericho, is the most important monument from the early Islamic period in the Palestinian Territories. It is a great tourist attraction, but was badly in need of repairs to make it more accessible to visitors. With $850,000 from the USAID, Anera was able to do extensive work on the site.

Working in close cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Municipality of Jericho, Anera rehabilitated the existing museum, constructed new toilet facilities and improved site interpretation through installation of better signs and markings for the pathways. Anera also repaired a half-kilometer long access road, a bridge culvert leading to the site, and provided more parking spaces for buses and cars.

Attendees at the event included Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, US Consul General Jake Wallace, USAID Director Howard Sumka, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Kholoud Deibes, Governor of Jericho and the Jordan Valley Kamel Hmeid and Anera Middle East Representative Robert Crothers.

The rehabilitation of Hisham’s Palace provided short-term employment opportunities for approximately 4,000 Palestinians and will benefit some 50,000 visitors a year.

Since 1993, USAID has provided more than $1.7 billion in U.S. economic assistance to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza via projects designed to reduce poverty, improve health and education, create jobs, and promote democracy and good governance.