Poverty and poverty reduction and the other global goals for sustainable development
Goal 1 of the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” adopted on September 25, 2015 at the UN Summit in New York, which combines the principle of sustainability with economic, ecological and social development, is the end of poverty in all its forms and everywhere by 2030. In Palestine – and particularly in the Gaza Strip – this is one of the great challenges of development cooperation.
According to the PCBS, 29.2% of the Palestinian population lived in poverty (13.9% in the West Bank and 53.0% in the Gaza Strip) and 16.8% in deep poverty (5.8% in the West Bank and 33.7% in the Gaza Strip) in 2017). People who live in large families with many children and together with older people are particularly affected by poverty.
The 2018 voluntary national report on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda states that, despite the particular challenges in achieving sustainable development in Palestine, tangible results have already been achieved in areas with few restrictions imposed by Israel, such as education, health care and the Participation of women in development. In the areas of economic development and environmental protection, however, Israeli restrictions hampered the efforts of the Palestinian government and its partners.
On February 22, 2017, the Palestinian government published the National Policy Agenda 2017-2022 – Putting Citizens First. Together with the sectoral and cross-sectoral strategies, this program is the fourth national development plan since 2008.
The guiding principle shows the shift in focus from the establishment of democratic and effective government institutions to a new phase in which, despite occupation, blockade and confiscation of natural resources, the focus is on improving the standard of living of the citizens. This is to be achieved through better public services accessible to all, responsive, accountable and transparent public institutions that put the interests and needs of citizens first, creating jobs in the private sector and protecting those at risk every day Municipalities.
According to PROEXCHANGERATES, the national strategy is based on three pillars:
1) the path of independence: the achievement of political and economic independence is seen as a prerequisite for comprehensive social and economic development. There are three priorities:
1.1 Ending the occupation by mobilizing national and international support and holding Israel accountable,
1.2 Achieving national unity by strengthening legal, institutional, political and economic ties between the various Palestinian communities and the Abroad,
1.3 Strengthening the international status of Palestine through wider participation in international organizations and the expansion of bilateral relations.
2) Government reform: Building on previous efforts, the next generation of administrative reforms will be implemented, aimed at redesigning and institutionalizing the services that the Palestinian Authority provides. There are two national priorities:
2.1 Developing citizen-centered government services by restructuring and strengthening local government and improving the quality of service for citizens, especially in Area C and in East Jerusalem,
2.2 Improving the efficiency of the Palestinian Authority by strengthening accountability and transparency, effective and efficient public finance management, public debt management and procurement, improved tax collection and reform of the public pension system.
3) Sustainable Development: There are five priorities:
3.1 Achieving economic independence by developing productive economic sectors to ensure the success of the Palestinian economy in the future, creating jobs, improving the economic environment and promoting Palestinian industry and eliminating Poverty,
3.2 promoting social justice and the rule of law by improving social protection, improving access to justice, implementing gender equality and empowering young people,
3.3 providing high quality education for all by improving access to education and maintaining the number of pupils, with particular emphasis on East Jerusalem, Area C and Gaza, reforming and modernizing educational offers and facilitating the transition from training to employment,
3.4 providing high quality Health care for all by improving health services and strengthening preventive measures in the health sector.
3.5 Supporting Palestinian communities and improving their resilience by ensuring local and national security, the rule of law, meeting the basic needs of local authorities, ensuring a sustainable environment and adapting to climate change, revitalizing agriculture and strengthening rural communities, and preserving national identity and cultural heritage.
Foreign development cooperation (bilateral and multilateral)
Palestine’s largest multilateral partners in development cooperation are the European Union (important information on EU policy in Palestine and the promotion of development projects is available from the EU delegation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip), the United Nations Development Program UNDP and the World Bank.