United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA) hosted Tayseer Abu Sneineh, Mayor of Al Khalil in Palestine, as part of UCLG-MEWA Local Government Talks series entitled “The Role of Local Governments in the Fight Against Coronavirus and Normalization” held on 27 August 2020.

Tayseer Abu Sneineh, who started his words by evaluating the pandemic process and its spread across the world, stated that this process affected all areas of life, especially social, political, economic aspects as well as tourism. Speaking about the impact of the pandemic on Palestine and especially on the city of Al-Khalil, Mayor Sneineh pointed out the shortcomings that the city of Al-Khalil experiences in the health sector despite being one of the largest cities in Palestine. Mayor Sneineh also stated that the virus was spreading rapidly in the city due to the lack of medical staff and of expertise in some areas.

Speaking about the measures taken in Al-Khalil, Mayor Sneineh underlined that the implementation of the health protocol published by the Ministry of Health played a major role in reducing the number of cases. Emphasizing the importance of the role of municipalities in this process, Mayor Sneineh stated that they had provided services to citizens and all organizations on behalf of the government, and added that during this period, municipal revenues had dropped to the lowest level, affecting infrastructure services. Mayor Sneineh also stated that combined challenges of pandemic and invasion drastically doubled their burden.

While delivering his messages to the people of Al-Khalil, Mayor Sneineh called for support from local governments and administrators in the MEWA region, especially on health-related issues such as providing protective clothing and masks to local governments in Palestine.

At the end of his speech, Mayor Sneineh said that they will continue their collaboration with UCLG-MEWA to improve the range of services they offer and also achieve better performance in service delivery.

You can watch the full talk here.

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