About UNDP's Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP)

Children in Gaza Children in Gaza playing on the beach (UNDP/PAPP photo)

The UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP) derives its mandate from United Nations General Assembly Resolution 33/147 of 20 December 1978. Called upon by United Nations Member States in that year, UNDP was requested “to improve the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people by identifying their social and economic needs and by establishing concrete projects to that end”.

With the adoption of the GA Resolution, UNDP seized a historic opportunity to mobilize the international community in support of the economic and social development of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Firmly rooted in the principle of the Right to Development, UNDP/PAPP was launched. The continued and deepening occupation of the territory, and its severe socio-economic consequences, serve as a stark reminder of the critical role that UNDP/PAPP continues to play today, over three decades after its establishment.

UNDP/PAPP’s comparative advantage rests on its development approach of empowering the Palestinian people and their institutions to achieve a resilient Palestinian nation – based on national ownership and capacity development towards sustainability. With a long-standing presence in the occupied Palestinian territory, UNDP/PAPP has acquired a deep understanding of the local context. A trusted partner and convener, UNDP/PAPP enjoys a close partnership with Palestinian institutions, civil society, communities, academia, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) and international development partners. Unlike many other development agencies, UNDP/PAPP works throughout the occupied Palestinian territory including, and as requested by the Palestinian Government and the international community, in East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and Area C of the West Bank.

What do we want to accomplish?

IUNDP/PAPP seeks to provide transformational, contextualized, targeted yet integrated responses to the recovery and resilience-based development agenda in the State of Palestine, while working more systematically in support of socio-economic, and institutional de-fragmentation, and in response to and responsive to the global SDG agenda.

UNDP/PAPP places empowerment, resilience and sustainability at the centre of its operation and focuses on three priority areas: the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and Area C, where the needs are the greatest. UNDP/PAPP focuses on democratic governance and the rule of law, economic empowerment and private sector development, environment and management of natural resources, as well as public and social infrastructure.

In strengthening its focus on particularly affected geographic areas and vulnerable populations (Gaza, Jerusalem and Area C), UNDP/PAPP’s three-year programme takes its inspiration and guidance from the Palestinian National Development Plan.

In the Governance sector, emphasis is placed on the rule of law, access to justice, local governance and public administration. In addition, attention is given to the reconciliation process and the need for a strong social contract between the State and its citizens, including the large and growing youth population.

In the Productive Livelihoods sector, investments are made in building the resilience of vulnerable Palestinian households. By empowering families, women and youth to graduate from abject poverty, assistance is geared at achieving economic self-reliance. This is complemented with support to Palestinian private sector development, trade, import and export to strengthen the economic base of Palestinian statehood.

In the Environment sector, assistance is provided to the Palestinian government to reclaim, manage and protect the environment and natural resources – all essential for the survival of communities as well as foundational for national development. Support is also provided to ensure that climate change adaptation responds to the potentially increasing scarcity of natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Finally, the Infrastructure sector with interventions in the areas of Energy, Transportation, Housing, Education and Health. Through continued investment in infrastructure in these sectors, assistance aims at addressing the growing challenges faced by Palestinians in accessing basic services and social rights.


What are our results?

In partnership with Palestinian institutions, civil society, communities and donors, UNDP/PAPP’s goal is to empower the Palestinian People to establish a viable State that is able to realize the right to development for its people and support their socio-economic resilience. In 2016, UNDP/PAPP delivered over USD 130 million in development assistance to the Palestinian People and is expected to deliver 140 million in 2017. The significant support to development activities testifies to the very real development needs of a people building their state under a protracted occupation.

Who are the decision makers?

The Special Representative of UNDP/PAPP (Mr Roberto Valent) is the head of the office. Under the Administrator’s overall guidance, the SR represents UNDP at the most senior level in the occupied Palestinian territory and exercises overall responsibility for the management of UNDP’s operational activities.

The Deputy Special Representative (Mr Geoffrey Prewitt) directs the formulation and implementation of capital and technical assistance programmes and is also responsible for directing the team leaders and their sectors in ensuring that the programmes / projects correspond with UNDP’s overall mission in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The Deputy Special Representative of Operations (Mr Khaled Shahwan) overseas the management of the office operations encompassing all aspects of financial management, logistics, human resources, information technology and travel, and offers operational services to the Field Security Advisor. Overall, the Deputy Special Representative (Operations) ensures that PAPP’s services are at the highest calibre so that the Office can function to its maximum potential.


How many are we?

UNDP/PAPP's staff include well-qualified and experienced planners, programmers, engineers, accountants, procurement experts and development specialists. UNDP/PAPP has staff of over 200, principally Palestinian employees.

Current Staff Count for Prog for Palestinian People

Contract TypeSub Total
Service Contract 154
UN Volunteers 10
UNDP Staff 74
Total 238

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