Development for Freedom: Empowered Lives, Resilient Nation - Consolidated Plan of Assistance 2012 - 2014
UNDP/PAPP’s Development for Freedom: Empowered Lives. Resilient Nation: 2012 – 2014 places the Palestinian People at the centre of development programming geared to support their aspiration for Statehood. It focuses particularly on three geographic areas where the needs and the challenges are the greatest in achieving sustainable human development and statehood: the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and Area C.
The Gaza Strip has been deprived of development since the imposition by Israel of a comprehensive blockade in 2007. As a result, development and reconstruction needs in the Strip are enormous: from governance and livelihoods to environment and infrastructure, especially in the aftermath of the military Operation Cast Lead (December 2008-January 2009). Unemployment rates in Gaza remain amongst the highest in the world, all while some 80 percent of the population receive humanitarian assistance in the absence of socio-economic development.
In East Jerusalem, Palestinians face restrictive construction policies and, as a result, experience a growing housing and property crisis. The erection of the Separation Wall has undermined the economy of East Jerusalem and is a main cause of growing unemployment rates. Basic services and access to land are unequally distributed by the Jerusalem municipality and are insufficient to cater to Palestinians’ natural development needs, including housing, education and health.
Development in Area C too is subjected to restrictive policies and practices, hampering any socio-economic development or access to natural resources for the Palestinians. Area C is, however, pivotal for the realization of a Palestinian State. It constitutes 62 percent of the West Bank and contains the bulk of Palestinian agricultural and grazing land, water sources and underground reservoirs. It is also the only space available for the expansion of Palestinian population centres and infrastructure, and thus forms the backbone of territorial contiguity in the West Bank.
In strengthening its focus on particularly affected geographic areas and vulnerable populations (Gaza, East Jerusalem and Area C), UNDP/PAPP’s three-year programme takes its inspiration and guidance from the Palestinian National Development Plan 2011 – 2013: Establishing the State, Building our Future. To this end, the substantive focus of this consolidated plan builds on UNDP/PAPP’s comparative advantage and added value in the sectors of Governance, Poverty Reduction, Environment and Infrastructure.
In the Governance sector (Section A – Democratic Governance and the Social Contract), 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 (Section B – Promoting Productivity and Dignity through Livelihoods), 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 (Section C – Natural Resources and Environment), assistance is provided to the Palestinian Authority 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 (Section D. Public and Social Infrastructure), consolidates and expands past and on-going interventions in five key sectors: 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.
These four focus areas – Governance and Rule of Law, Poverty Reduction, Environment and Infrastructure – lay the ground for sustainable human development, which in turn premises the full spectrum of social, economic, cultural, civil and political rights. The recognition of the inextricable link between the root-cause and statehood thus underpins this consolidated plan, Development for Freedom – Empowered Lives.
Resilient Nation: 2012 -2014.