The Japanese Government has provided over €464,000 to support two companies operating in the Jericho Agro Industrial Park (JAIP): Hawamdeh, and Rihana. These companies are the third and fourth beneficiaries under the Palestinian Authority's PRIDE (Partnership for Regional Investment, Development & Employment) Programme of Incentives to JAIP. The Japanese contribution is being channelled through the Mécanisme Palestino-Européen de Gestion de l'Aide Socio-Economique (PEGASE) mechanism.
"Supporting the Palestinian Industry, the competitiveness of SMEs and job creation are amongst the key priorities of the EU in Palestine”" said the EU Representative Ralph Tarraf. "We are pleased to work hand in hand with Japan to support the efforts of the Palestinian Authority to develop Jericho Agro Industrial Park. This industrial park is opening economic opportunities for Palestinian companies and new jobs for Palestinian youth particularly in the Jordan valley ", he added.
Hawamdeh is providing the local market with 1.5 and 0.5 litre bottled drinking water produced in accordance with international quality standards. It also aims to export its production. Thanks to modern and sophisticated systems, water is extracted from springs in and around Jericho. Jericho natural mineral water is known for its high quality and beneficial properties.
Rihana is producing high quality frozen food products in compliance with international standards. It targets the local and regional markets. The raw material, fresh fruits and vegetables, is directly supplied by Palestinian farmers from the Jordan River Valley. Rihana factory has already started producing French fries. Rihanna is also planning to produce potato wedges, frozen vegetables and frozen and dried fruits.
Most of the European Union's assistance to the Palestinian Authority is channelled through PEGASE, the financial mechanism launched in 2008 to support the PA Reform and Development Plan (2008-2010) and subsequent Palestinian national plans. As well as helping to meet a substantial proportion of its running costs, European funds support major reform and development programmes in key ministries, to help prepare the PA for statehood. Since February 2008, around €2.0 billion have been disbursed through the PEGASE Direct Financial Support programmes. In addition, the EU has provided assistance to the Palestinian people through UNRWA and a wide range of cooperation projects.