For Immediate Release
On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, representatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and ANERA celebrated the newly upgraded and expanded Gaza Sports Club. In Jerusalem, the event was attended by USAID/West Bank and Gaza Deputy Mission Director Jessica Zaman, and Anera’s Palestinian Community Infrastructure Development (PCID) Program Chief of Party Mr. Rabah Odeh. In Gaza, Anera’s Chief Development Officer Mr. Derek Madsen, and Board Members of the Gaza Sports Club Mr. Ahmad Al Shawwa and Mr. Basil Naser participated in the event.
Before the intervention, there was an urgent need to upgrade the Gaza Sports Club as it did not have the capacity to accommodate the growing need and demand for sports due to rare and insufficient facilities.
The upgraded Club now benefits more than 4,000 beneficiaries (1,000 females and 3,000 males) from Gaza City and the surrounding areas per year.
USAID invested nearly $519,000 to renovate and upgrade the Gaza Sports Club. The intervention included construction of a series of recreational spaces including a high boundary wall, an upgraded 7-A soccer field, an indoor basketball court, and – for the first time ever – a brand new 5-A soccer field, outdoor basketball/volleyball court, tennis courts, and a running track.
The newly upgraded fields and the addition of new ones provide a range of sports, including soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis and track. The new facilities also allow the club to add more activities and female/male teams of all kinds, generating greater income for the club and making it more sustainable. The inclusive club promotes women's equal participation in their chosen sporting activities. It is also fully accessible for persons with disabilities, including newly-installed handicap-accessible bathrooms.
USAID is committed to improving the lives of Palestinians. Over the past year alone, USAID provided over $110 million in development and humanitarian assistance in the West Bank and Gaza. In just over three years, USAID will provide over $500 million in programming to support the Palestinian people.
In Gaza, USAID provides assistance to support Palestinians through targeted activities, including COVID-19 health response, short-term income generation, household water and sanitation access, emergency food assistance, critical relief supplies and protection for vulnerable groups.