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:
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:
* based on NBP data – average annual exchange rate in 2012 (EUR 1 EUR = PLN 4.1850)
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:
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:
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:
Actions in 2009
In 2009, aid was provided in the following areas:
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.
"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:
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).
Palestinian National Authority
Administrative centre Ramallah
Human Development Index (HDI)
For more information visit the internet website of the Ministry of Information of the Palestinian National Authority.
The World Bank report 2011