New public works strategy [Archives:2005/823/Business & Economy]
The Project of Public Works and the Social Fund for Development have been recognized as successful projects because of their ability to create job opportunities.
The project provides essential services for the needy and works to improve people's participation in the developmental process.
The director of the public works project, Saeed Mohammed Abdeh, said the project was founded in 1996 as part of the government's financial and administrative reform package. It began its work in joint cooperation with the government and the World Bank. The government contributed with three million dollars, and the World Bank contributed $25 million in its first phase.
The project aims at providing job opportunities in labor-intensive fields, and to upgrade the professionalism of contractors. During its first phase, the project implemented around 435 projects throughout the country at a cost estimated at $30.5 million. The projected realized its goals one year ahead of schedule.
The number of beneficiaries of the projects of the first phase reached more than two and a half million people. At the beginning of 1999, the second phase was initiated and the amounts of money appropriated for it was estimated at $116 million, half of which was from grants and aid. Some 1600 projects were carried out during this phase.
There are several conditions that must be fulfilled with each project, most important of which is that 30 per cent of its value should be allocated as wages for the workers involved.