To reduce poverty in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP) supports several initiatives in the field of economic development and poverty reduction. UNDP/PAPP prioritizes support to the most vulnerable communities and families through sustainable economic empowerment approaches that help people enhance their self-reliance and become gradually less reliant on aid.
In 2016, UNDP/PAPP provided sustainable employment opportunities to nearly 4000 women and over 6000 youth across the State of Palestine through partnering with more than 45 CSOs in projects and business creation initiatives targeting the poor and unemployed fresh graduates (51% in the commercial sector, 23% in the services sector, 22% in the agricultural sector, and 4% in the production and manufacturing sector). This comes in addition to the 387,500 short and longer term jobs for skilled and unskilled laborers provided through the delivery of infrastructure activities, as well as through rapid employment facilities.
The support provided by UNDP/PAPP to the Ministry of Social Development ensured improving the targeting and provision of social safety nets for marginalized and vulnerable families, enabling 1144 families to access financial and technical services to develop businesses, generating around 2860 self-employment opportunities.
In 2016, Al Fakhoora Dynamic Futures Programme scaled up the number of its awarded scholarships to a total of 870 scholarships, divided between 836 local undergraduate scholarships, 4 international undergraduate scholarships, and 30 international graduate scholarships. As for the economic empowerment component that supports students’ and their families’ livelihoods, economic empowerment projects targeting 224 students were implemented, while an additional 68 projects will be implemented in 2017.
UNDP/PAPP's efforts mainly serve the following four areas: i) promotion of private sector productivity, employment schemes, and micro-entrepreneurship, ii) social safety nets for the most vulnerable families, iii) integrated agricultural management, and iv) basic infrastructure for improved service delivery. UNDP/PAPP is also contributing to poverty monitoring and collection of basic data through poverty scorecards. In doing so, UNDP/PAPP works concretely with both communities and other non-state actors such as the private sector and NGOs as well as different key line-ministries.
Economic Empowerment of Productive Families through DEEP: This intervention targets households who have sufficient human and social capital to graduate from poverty by managing their own micro-enterprise. DEEP uses a specialized and a well-tested targeting and assessment process to identify eligible families and design interventions. The selected households will have the opportunity to establish micro enterprises through capital investment and micro financing instruments that safeguards the interests and investments of the families.
Since its inception in 2006, over 32,000 families have been empowered, in addition to the completion of around 14,300 commercial projects. These projects have created employment opportunities for more than 15,000 additional families, and more than 45,000 paid job opportunities for young people and women. New strategic approaches are currently being adopted by the programme including community mobilization for economic empowerment, establishing incubators for economic empowerment, partnering with local CBOs, cooperatives, industrial areas and INGOs, youth employment and group projects.
Integrated Agricultural and Rural Development: This programme has two main components. The first is Rapid Support for Small Infrastructure in the West Bank. The second is the Rehabilitation of Water Facilities in Area C. This is done by enhancing accessibility to irrigation water in Area C of the West Bank through the upgrading of irrigation systems and installing new networks, and building cisterns and water reservoirs. In addition to the construction work, the programme includes necessary soft components related to the capacity development of the Ministry of Agriculture and other partners. Since 2002, the programme protected over 70,000 dunums of land in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Al Fakhoora Dynamic Futures Scholarship Programme: The programme is funded by Qatar Foundation and the Islamic Development Bank and targets a minimum of 1,000 students who come from marginalized and poor families in the Gaza Strip. The programme focuses on four components: quality education; student affairs; leadership and advocacy; and economic empowerment. So far, the programme has offered full scholarships to 605 students enrolled in university studies and covered all costs related to education and other expenses for the entire duration of the educational programme. The programme also includes components for development of soft skills needed to enhance employability of students along with career advisory services.