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Palestinian National Authority


The Palestinian Authority ranks 110th (in 2012) in the HDI (Human Development Index) developed by the UNDP to monitor the social and economic development of the world’s countries each year. The Palestinian Authority – covering part of the West Bank of Jordan (A and B zones making up 40% of the land) and the Gaza Strip with an area of close to 6 thousand square kilometres – is inhabited by approximately 4 million people (including a group of about 500,000 Jewish settlers). Stable economic growth recorded in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 2009-2011 slowed down significantly in 2012, mainly because of Israeli restrictions in force, financial problems due to a decrease in the level of international assistance and the increase of political uncertainty. The World Bank estimates that real economic growth in the Palestinian Authority for the first three quarters of 2012 slowed down to 6.1% from an average of 11% in 2010 and 2011. The Palestinian economy is dependent on the Israeli market and its main trading partners, besides Israel, are the United States and the European Union. Financial assistance from international donors makes up a significant part of the budget. The biggest donors of development assistance to the Palestinian Authority are the EU, the UN, the US, Japan and Arab countries Persian Gulf. The Palestinian Authority operates pursuant to the Oslo agreements (1993) and the Washington agreements (1995). On 30 November 2012 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution granting Palestine non-member state status. Pursuant to a presidential decree issued in January 2013, all Palestinian offices and institutions, including diplomatic missions, were obligated to use the name “State of Palestine” in place of the former “Palestinian National Authority.”

Since 2005, Polish development assistance has been channelled to the Palestinian Authority – one of its priority areas of support. In February 2009, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski and Foreign Minister of the Palestinian National Authority Riad Al-Malki signed a three-year framework agreement on development cooperation between the MFAs of the Republic of Poland and of the Palestinian National Authority. The agreement provided, among others, for the following forms of cooperation: technical assistance and scholarships, supply of goods, equipment, materials and services, contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the financing of development and/or humanitarian projects included in Palestinian National Strategic Plans. This was the first document of this type signed by Poland with a development cooperation partner and beneficiary of Polish aid. Poland supports Palestinian Refugees in the Near East by making annual payments to the UNRWA. In 2004-2011, a total of approximately USD 1 million was earmarked for this purpose. In 2012, Poland transferred approximately USD 200,000 to the Palestinian Authority.


Actions in 2012

The 2012 Development Cooperation Plan identifies the following priority areas of support in the Palestinian National Authority:

  • education;
  • water supply and sanitation;
  • SMEs and job creation.

A total of eight projects were carried out for the Palestinian Authority (see full list), including five by the Office of the Representative of Poland to the Palestinian National Authority in Ramallah in the framework of the Small Grants System, and three by Polish NGOs as part of the “2012 Polish Development Assistance” call for proposals.

Development assistance funds provided to the Palestinian Authority in 2012 totalled almost PLN 1,368,000, of which three projects were implemented by NGOs – amounting to PLN 892,137 – while the Polish diplomatic mission in Ramallah received EUR 113,920 (approx. PLN 476,755)* for small grants implemented in cooperation with local organisations.

The Polish MFA co-financed, among others: assistance to small agricultural enterprises in the West Bank’s Bethlehem District by introducing new farming methods based on organic recycling (green waste composting) and aquaponic gardening – a PCPM project; social and cultural development of excluded region Masafer Yatta in the Hebron District by educating a group of young people in the scope of, among others, workshops for local leaders, integration trips and study visits to cultural centres in the Palestinian Authority – a NOMADA project; improving access to water by reconstruction of agricultural water tanks for the Bedouins living in the South Hebron District – a PAH project.

In 2012, the Representative Office of the Republic of Poland in Ramallah carried out projects in the framework of the small grants programme designed to:

  • improve water and sanitary conditions for 9 homesteads in the Jenin District; the project was implemented in cooperation with Caritas Jerusalem;
  • level out educational opportunities for young people from difficult backgrounds in Eastern Jerusalem ; the project was implemented in cooperation with Spafford’s Children Centre in Jerusalem;
  • level out educational opportunities for girls in the  Al Amarii Camp by providing equipment to the Fencing Club; the project is a continuation of an earlier support for a fencing club provided under Polish Aid 2007-2009, entitled “Fencers for Palestine”, consisting of donating professional fencing equipment to clubs; the entire project is implemented by the Polish diplomatic mission;
  • improve the health of school pupils by giving them access to clean water thanks to solar energy; the project is implemented in cooperation with the Palestinian Solar & Sustainable Energy Society.


Contributions to UNRWA between 2004-2012  
Year Contribution (USD) Contribution(PLN)
2004 20 000   
2005 20 000  
2006 50 000  
2007 110 000  
2008 150 000  
2009** 328 926,26 1 025 000
2010** 132 639,19 400 000
2011 200 000  
2012*** 206 342,66 650 000


* based on NBP data – average annual exchange rate in 2012 (EUR 1 EUR = PLN 4.1850)
** based on NBP data  - Archives – Average annual exchange rates in 2009 (USD 1 USD = PLN 3.1162) and in 2010 (USD 1 USD = PLN 3.0157 PLN) 
*** based on NBP data – average exchange rate as at 9.10.2012 (USD 1 USD = PLN 3.1501)

Source: NBP

Read more about Polish assistance to Palestinian National Authority:


Actions in 2011

In accordance with the priorities of the 2011 Polish development cooperation programme, public administration bodies, NGOs, public higher education institutions, research institutes, the Polish Academy of Sciences and its organizational entities could apply for financing towards projects to aid the Palestinian Autonomy in the following sectors:

  • supporting good governance, in particular raising skills among public sector workers;
  • developing the rural and agricultural sectors, in particular by raising the level of quality of local products, water management, rural governance and support for the local community;
  • supporting youth development and activation in education;
  • streamlining border management through trainings for border guards.

As a result of the concluded competition, in 2011 the following projects were implemented, with the total co-financing amounting to PLN 800,000.

Development of agricultural areas through the renovation of agricultural water tanks in southern Hebron district; project operated by the Polish Humanitarian Action. The goal of the project was to improve Hebron inhabitants’ access to water for household and agricultural purposes. In the framework of the project – with the help of local inhabitants – 20 water tanks for rainwater collection and storage were renovated. The users were also trained in water tank maintenance and hygiene, as well as in effective ways of collecting water.

On the milky way to South Hebron – II: Strengthening the cooperation network between Bedouin sheep farmers in Masafer Yatta and the local dairy production cooperative in Hebron district, West Bank; project operated by the Polish Center for International Aid Foundation. The project is a continuation of the Foundation’s actions implemented in the West Bank in previous years. The goal of the project was to expand the local market for dairy products and raise dairy quality. Sheep farmers participated in trainings devoted to modern technologies. 48 farms were modernized to include new equipment.

Training in support of modernisation of PNA border services - continuation; operated by the International Cooperation Bureau of the National Border Guard Headquarters. Measures under this project were focused on strengthening the PNA’s border protection system and boosting the level of border security by training border officials. Trainings methods to be applied at future workshops were also developed as part of the project.

Moreover, the Office of the Representative of Poland to the Palestinian National Authority in Ramallah – in cooperation with local organizations – implemented small grants projects with a total co-financing component of PLN 500,000. The projects included:

  • Finishing, equipping and staffing the day care room in orphanage in East Jerusalem. The goal of the project was to create a safe education and recreation room on the unused top floor of the orphanage. Thanks to the project, 21 children – as well as those who will live at the orphanage over the following years, will have the ability to study and play in a room equipped with the necessary instruments (desks, computers) and learning materials.
  • Activating youth in East Jerusalem by organizing an anti-drug campaign. The project consisted of trainings for youth leaders selected from among the local population. During the workshops, the leaders received knowledge and organizational skills which they will use to increase local awareness of the problem of drug abuse among children, adolescents and adults living in the camp.
  • Creating jobs by building water tanks in Aboud village. The project has contributed to facilitating the local community’s access to water through the construction of 5 water tanks for collecting and storing rainwater. 10 local inhabitants were employed to build the tanks and local youths participated in awareness-raising activities dealing with effective and economical water use.


Actions in 2010

In 2010, over PLN 1.34 milion was channelled into the co-financing of aid projects for the Palestinian National Authority. The following projects were implemented:

  • Polish Centre for International Aid: "On the Milky Way to South Hebron: Linking Small Goat and Sheep Farmers from Bedouin Communities and the Local Dairy Production Cooperative in the Massafer Yatta, Hebron District, West Bank";
  • Together Polska Foundation: "Youth Media Centre";
  • Polish Humanitarian Organisation: "Development of Human Resources Through Social Activation of Children and Youth from Hebron District - Extra-Curricular Activities";
  • Representative Office of Poland, Ramallah: "Promoting Cultural Diversity in Jerusalem by Supporting Activities Depicting Palestinian Culture", "Implementation and Purchase of Sports Equipment for the Qadura Fitness Park in Ramallah" and "Implementing, Equipping and Staffing of the Day-Care Room in the Bethlehem Children's Home";
  • International Cooperation Offices of the National Border Guard Headquarters: "Trainings to Aid the Modernisation of the Palestinian Autonomy's Border Guard".


Actions in 2009

In 2009, aid was provided in the following areas:

  • developing human resources,
  • developing rural areas and local communities,
  • social projects,
  • access to potable water.

In 2009, 8 projects were implemented with partial financing of over PLN 866 000. These include:

"Fencers for Palestine" - a project implemented by the Tischner European University in cooperation with the Palestinian Fencing Federation (PFF), aimed at raising the qualifications of Palestinian fencers and fencing instructors, with whom the University has been cooperating since 2007. In the framework of the project, a Polish coach was in charge of the Palestinian national team, a sports camp was organised in Jordan, and equipment was purchased for sports clubs. One important element of this project was the popularisation of fencing by organising tournaments.
In 2010, a documentary film entitled "Fencers for Palestine" (directed by Urszula Laskowska and Mateusz Mularski) was produced. The movie depicts the project's implementation in the Al-Amari refugee camp in Ramallah, West Bank.

"Inaugurating Drama Classes in Schools and Youth Clubs in East Jerusalem" -  the Representative Office of Poland in Ramallah implemented this project in districts in East Jerusalem inhabited by Palestinian communities, which are extremely affected by their economic, cultural and social isolation from other areas inhabited by Palestinians (the West Bank and Gaza Strip). The aim of the project was to create youth drama groups to facilitate the process of self-identification and constitute a form of group therapy. The project's initiator and main implementing party was the Sanabel Theatre.

"Repair and Installation of Window Protection Systems in Wadi Al Hassin" - the Representative Office of Poland in Ramallah implemented a project to install window protection systems in several dozen houses in the Hebron area inhabited by Palestinians who were victims of acts of vandalism perpetrated by radical Israeli settlers.

"Trainings to Aid the Modernisation of the Palestinian Autonomy's Border Guard" - in response to Palestinian needs, the National Border Guard Headquarters implemented a project aimed at supporting Palestinian law enforcement agencies in preparing and implementing modern methods for building a national border protection system.

Additional aid for the Palestinian National Authority (over PLN 1 milion) was provided in response to the appeal made by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA).


Actions in 2008

Polish development aid covered the following areas:

  • increased access to potable water;
  • healthcare;
  • education.

In 2008, 3 projects were co-financed with over PLN 1 milion.

"Civil Palestine" - a joint undertaking of theTischner European University and the Palestinian Vision partner organisation, aimed at activating youth, making creative use of youth potential, and implementing civil initiatives. The project culminated in the organisation of a Polish Day in Ramallah, which included a Polish-Palestinian friendship tournament in men's and women's épée fencing, and a festival in Bethlehem presenting the implemented activities.

"Improving Water Supply for Three Palestinian Schools in Bethlehem District, 2008" - a Polish Humanitarian Organisation Foundation project aimed at improving sanitary conditions and access to potable water in selected schools. In cooperation with the Environmental Education Centre - a local organisation - the project implemented trainings and workshops for pupils, staff, parents and representatives of local communities, devoted to environmental protection, agriculture, water economy and usage and maintenance of water purification stations.

"Developing Entrepreneurship Among Women - Small Animals, Big Value: Rearing of Animals and Production of Dairy Products by Women in the Palestinian Autonomy, 2008" - a Polish Humanitarian Organisation Foundation project aimed at developing a dairy production cooperative operated by impoverished women from rural areas around Hebron. Apart from professional consultations and trainings, the initiative consisted of the purchase of professional dairy processing equipment, which enabled mass production. During the term of the project, its beneficiaries were helped by staff from the local partner, the Palestinian organisation Shorouq. Additional aid was provided to the Palestinian Autonomy by transferring funds towards multilateral initiatives: the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan Trust Fund PRDP-TF (USD 500 000) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East - UNWRA (USD 150 000).


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Last change of this page:27.08.2013.
Palestinian National Authority

Administrative centre Ramallah
Population West Bank 2.6 million (2012), Gaza Strip 1.71 milion (2011)
GDP USD 12.95 billion (2008)
GDP rate of growth 8% (2009)
GDP per capita USD 2 900 (2008)
Unemployment rate West Bank 23.5% (2011), Gaza Strip 40% (2010)
Percent of population living below poverty line West Bank 18.3% (2010), Gaza Strip 38% (2010)
Inflation rate 5% (2011)
Source: CIA, The World Factbook


Human Development Index (HDI)
0.670, ranked 110. (2012) ↑
Source: UNDP, Human Development Reports

Local authorities

For more information visit the internet website of the Ministry of Information of the Palestinian National Authority.


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