USAID supports a wide range of projects that aim to improve the quality of life for Palestinians while also helping the Palestinian Authority strengthen its ability to deliver quality public services. Our overall assistance portfolio in the West Bank and Gaza includes programs in the areas of democracy and governance; education; health and humanitarian assistance; private enterprise; and water resources and infrastructure.
USAID provides direct financial support to the Palestinian Authority to help enable it to meet its budgetary obligations. This support is important to the state-building effort, which in turn helps maintain the stability and secure foundation necessary for successful negotiating efforts to achieve a future Palestinian state.
The United States is also committed to continuing assistance for basic human needs in both the West Bank and Gaza, including emergency food, health care, and access to safe water and sanitation systems.
USAID coordinates closely with the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv; the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem; the U.S. Security Coordinator; the U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace; the Roadmap Monitor Mission; the donor community; the United Nations; the Office of the Quartet Representative; the Palestinian Authority; the Government of Israel; and the private sector.
Democracy, Human Rights and Governance
USAID supports the development of institutions necessary for a future Palestinian state by promoting the rule of law, increasing civic engagement, and enhancing respect for human rights. These initiatives will support the capacity of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to meet constituents’ needs, enhancing its ability to serve effectively as a governing body. Toward this end, USAID worked closely with PA ministries to create 16 modern service centers that issue basic documents to Palestinian citizens. In the justice sector, USAID supported the establishment of the first Palestinian Judicial Institute and helped the Palestinian Ministry of Finance create systems that increased property tax collection by 56 percent. Customer satisfaction with government services has increased by an average of 14 percent since 2009.
Economic Growth and Trade
USAID provides assistance to Palestinian enterprises that generate employment and pursue economic opportunities in domestic, regional, and global markets. Projects increase the availability of investment capital; provide targeted technical assistance and access to improved technologies and management skills; improve the movement of people and cargo through crossing points between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza; and eliminate regulatory constraints by developing partnerships between the private sector and the Palestinian Authority. In the past year, USAID provided cost-sharing grants to 37 businesses in the West Bank and leveraged an additional $24 million in investment from the private sector, creating more than 1,000 new jobs and increasing revenues by $30 million. In addition, USAID’s support of loans to 33,000 micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises created an estimated 50,000 jobs.
USAID works with the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education and directly with educational institutions to support their efforts to provide higher quality education. Through its projects, USAID has helped more than 350 teachers improve their teaching skills and 4,000 disadvantaged students continue their education. In close coordination with universities, schools and the Ministry, USAID focuses on improving educational quality and relevance by creating Centers of Teaching Excellence, introducing new teaching methodologies in the classrooms to facilitate learning, providing scholarships for teachers to improve skills, integrating information technology into teaching and learning practices, supporting career counseling aimed at better preparing students to enter the work force; and expanding the impact of early childhood programming.
USAID responds to health challenges with assistance that includes health care system strengthening, provision of medical equipment, and expansion of access to high-quality medical facilities. Our assistance is designed to help strengthen the institutional capacities of the Ministry of Health and local nongovernmental organizations, creating a more efficient and accountable health system capable of meeting the health needs of all Palestinians.
Water and Infrastructure
Since 1994, USAID has been one of the largest donors in the infrastructure sector. Projects include the construction and rehabilitation of water systems and distribution networks, roads, sanitation systems, clinics, schools, and other community facilities. Through improved systems, training, and hands-on technical assistance, USAID is strengthening the Palestinian Water Authority’s capacity to better operate and maintain its growing water system. This effort, together with the rehabilitation of aged and leaking pipelines, will reduce water losses and improve the sustainable use of limited resources for the growing Palestinian population. Over the past 10 years, USAID provided more than 127,000 temporary jobs for Palestinians through infrastructure programming.
Working in Crises and Conflict
To address the problems of poverty and food insecurity in the West Bank and Gaza, USAID provides humanitarian support through the World Food Program. In Gaza, our Palestinian Community Assistance Program is working to rebuild and improve community infrastructure while identifying and developing feasible opportunities to provide employment and income for Gaza’s vulnerable people. Our reconciliation programs promote peaceful coexistence among Israelis and Palestinians and improve mutual understanding and dialogue on issues of common concern.
Last updated: May 10, 2013