United Nations

A/50/286-E/1995/113


General Assembly
Economic and Social Council

Distr. GENERAL  

13 July 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


GENERAL ASSEMBLY  ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
Fiftieth session  Substantive session of 1995
Item 20 (b) of the preliminary list*  Item 5 (c) of the provisional
STRENGTHENING OF THE COORDINATION OF    agenda**
  HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER RELIEF  SOCIAL, HUMANITARIAN AND HUMAN
  ASSISTANCE OF THE UNITED NATIONS,    RIGHTS QUESTIONS:  REPORTS
  INCLUDING SPECIAL ECONOMIC    OF SUBSIDIARY BODIES,
  ASSISTANCE:  SPECIAL ECONOMIC    CONFERENCES AND RELATED
  ASSISTANCE TO INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES    QUESTIONS:  IMPLEMENTATION
  OR REGIONS          OF THE DECLARATION ON THE
          GRANTING OF INDEPENDENCE TO
          COLONIAL COUNTRIES AND
          PEOPLES BY THE SPECIALIZED
          AGENCIES AND THE
          INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
          ASSOCIATED WITH THE
          UNITED NATIONS


Assistance to the Palestinian people

Report of the Secretary-General


CONTENTS

  Paragraphs  Page

I.  INTRODUCTION .........................................1 - 43

II.  ESTABLISHMENT OF A COORDINATION MECHANISM ............5 - 144

III.  ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE:  ONGOING
  PROGRAMMES, UNMET NEEDS AND PROPOSALS FOR ADDITIONAL
  ASSISTANCE ...........................................15 - 1377
                       
     *     A/50/50/Rev.1.
    **     E/1995/100.


95-20958 (E)   180795/...
*9520958*
  CONTENTS (continued)

  Paragraphs  Page

  A.  United Nations assistance in infrastructure ......16 - 427

  B.  United Nations assistance in institution-building   43 - 7112

  C.  United Nations assistance in employment generation  72 - 8418

  D.  United Nations assistance to private sector
    development ......................................  85 - 10121

  E.  United Nations assistance in education ...........  102 - 12325

  F.  United Nations assistance in health ..............  124 - 13729

Annex.  United Nations departments, programmes and agencies active in
        the occupied territories .......................................33

I.  INTRODUCTION


1.  On 20  December 1994, the  General Assembly adopted resolution 49/21  N,
entitled "Assistance  to the Palestinian People",  in which  it, inter alia,
stressed  the importance of  the appointment  of the  Special Coordinator in
the Occupied Territories and  of the steps  taken under the auspices of  the
Secretary-General to ensure the achievement of  a coordinated mechanism  for
United Nations activities throughout the occupied territories; urged  Member
States and agencies of  the United Nations system  to extend, as rapidly and
as  generously  as   possible,  economic   and  social  assistance  to   the
Palestinian people to assist in the development of  the West Bank and  Gaza,
with  emphasis on national execution  and capacity-building and to  do so in
close cooperation  with the  Palestine Liberation  Organization and  through
official Palestinian  institutions;  called  upon  the  international  donor
community to expedite the delivery of  pledged assistance to the Palestinian
people to  meet their urgent needs;  and requested  the Secretary-General to
submit a  report to the  Assembly on the  implementation of  the resolution,
containing:  (a)  an assessment of the  assistance actually received by  the
Palestinian  people;  and (b)  an assessment  of the  needs still  unmet and
specific proposals for responding effectively to them.

2.  Ambassador Terje Rod Larsen of  Norway was appointed Special Coordinator
in the  Occupied Territories  in  June 1994.    In  his previous  report  on
assistance to the  Palestinian people (A/49/263-E/1994/112 and Corr.1),  the
Secretary-General provided  an overview  of the  initial  activities of  the
Special  Coordinator.   The present  report  covers  the period  from August
1994,  when the  Special Coordinator  established residence in  the occupied
territories, through June 1995.

3.  In  order to effect visible and  immediate improvements in the lives  of
the  Palestinian  people  in  the  West Bank  and  Gaza  Strip, the  Special
Coordinator proceeded  simultaneously on  four fronts:   supporting  ongoing
activities of the United  Nations in the  occupied territories; facilitating
development  of  public  works  projects  to  provide  immediate  employment
opportunities and  bring visible changes to  the Gaza  Strip; establishing a
coordination  mechanism on  the ground to ensure  the effective disbursement
of donor pledges made  at the Conference to Support Middle East Peace,  held
in Washington, D.C., on 1 October  1993; and coordinating training and other
assistance for the incoming Palestinian police force.

4.   The efforts of  the Special Coordinator were undertaken consistent with
the recommendations  of the high-level United  Nations task  force on social
and  economic development  of  the  Gaza  Strip and  Jericho  formed by  the
Secretary-General in September 1993, prior to the  signing by Israel and the
Palestine  Liberation  Organization of  the  Declaration  of  Principles  on
Interim  Self-Government Arrangements  (see  A/48/486-S/26560).   This  task
force  had  recommended  that  the  ongoing  activities  of  United  Nations

agencies  in the  occupied territories, implemented primarily  by the United
Nations Children's Fund  (UNICEF), the United Nations Development  Programme
(UNDP)  and  the  United  Nations  Relief  and  Works  Agency  for Palestine
Refugees in the Near  East (UNRWA), be fully  supported and extended.  These
activities,  mainly  covering health  and  environmental  health, education,
social services,  institution-building and  support to  the private  sector,
represented  over one  half of  all  public sector  expenditure in  the Gaza
Strip and  about one third  of it in the West  Bank. Ensuring continuity and
further development of these services was a key factor  in supporting social
stability in  the occupied territory  at a time  of rapid political  change.
The  second  main recommendation  of  the  task  force  was that  additional
activities should  be undertaken to  improve immediately  the existing basic
and social services infrastructure  in order to  make tangible  improvements
in  the  daily   lives  of  the  Palestinian  people,  provide   much-needed
employment  opportunities  in  the  implementation  phase and  help  in  the
development  of  essential   infrastructure  in  support  of  the   incoming
Palestinian Authority.


II.  ESTABLISHMENT OF A COORDINATION MECHANISM

5.  On  29 and  30 November  1994, the  main donor-led  body overseeing  the
assistance effort, the  Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, met  at Brussels.  At  the
suggestion of the United Nations, the  Committee decided to devolve  certain
aspects of  the donor coordination process  to the  level of representatives
in  the  West Bank  and the  Gaza Strip.   For  that purpose,  the Committee
established a  Local  Aid Coordination  Committee,  to  be composed  of  the
Palestinian Authority and  all donors to  the Palestinians in the  West Bank
and the Gaza Strip.   The co-chairs of the Local Aid Coordination  Committee
are Norway, in  its capacity as Chair of  the Ad Hoc  Liaison Committee, the
Office of the United  Nations Special Coordinator  and the World Bank.   The
latter  two  act  as  joint  secretariat   to  the  Local  Aid  Coordination
Committee.   The  Local Aid  Coordination Committee  reports to  the Ad  Hoc
Liaison Committee.

6.   The  Local  Aid Coordination  Committee  decided  in  December 1994  to
establish  12 sectoral  subcommittees, known as sectoral  working groups, to
focus donor assistance  to the  Palestinians consistent with the  priorities
set by the  Palestinian Authority,  with input from  the United Nations  and
the World  Bank. Each  sectoral  working  group is  composed of  all  donors
interested  in that  particular sector,  with  one donor  representative  as
shepherd  of   the  committee;  representatives   of  relevant   Palestinian
Authority ministries,  as  gavel holders;  and  the  World Bank  and/or  the
United Nations  as secretariat for  each group.  The  12 subcommittees cover
agriculture,  education,   creation  of   employment,  environment,  health,
infrastructure and  housing, institution-building,  police, private  sector,
public finance,  tourism  and  transport and  communications.   The  Special
Coordinator  delegated   secretariat  responsibilities   to  United  Nations
agencies with an established presence on  the ground, namely, UNDP,  UNICEF,
UNRWA, and the World  Health Organization (WHO).  The Office of the  Special
Coordinator also assumed secretariat responsibilities.

7.  By way of example, the sectoral working group on employment  generation,
with Sweden as shepherd, the Palestinian Authority as gavel holder and  UNDP
as secretariat, had raised  as of March  1995 over $25 million for  projects
to be  implemented by the Palestinian  Economic Council  for Development and
Reconstruction, UNDP  and UNRWA.  Some  5,000 jobs were  created through the
implementation of  these projects.  In  April 1995,  the Special Coordinator
and  the Government  of Sweden  jointly  undertook fund-raising  efforts  to
finance additional  projects developed  under the  auspices of the  sectoral
working  group on  employment generation.    The  other 11  sectoral working
groups were  working on  a similar  basis, identifying  priorities with  the
Palestinian   Authority,  discussing   project  proposals   with  the   main
implementing agencies (the Palestinian Economic Council for Development  and
Reconstruction, United Nations  agencies and programmes  and the World Bank)
and identifying possible sources of funding.

8.  Parallel to  the establishment of the donor coordination structures, the
Special  Coordinator  undertook  efforts  to  sharpen  the focus  of  United
Nations assistance to the Palestinian people in the  West Bank and the  Gaza
Strip.   At an  inter-agency meeting  convened by  him in  Gaza in  December
1994, attended by over 20 agencies and programmes of the United Nations,  it
was decided to form  six priority sector groups  covering the main  areas of
United  Nations activities  on the  ground.    These priority  sector groups
cover education, employment  generation, health, infrastructure and housing,
institution-building and the private sector.   Each priority sector group is
composed of  all United  Nations organizations  working in  or intending  to
work in that sector  in the West Bank  and the  Gaza Strip, with one  United
Nations agency as focal point for the United  Nations system in that sector.
The International Labour Organization  (ILO), UNDP, UNESCO,  UNICEF and  WHO
assumed focal point responsibilities.

9.   The  aim of  the priority  sector groups  is to achieve  a coordinated,
integrated and  targeted  approach  to  United  Nations  assistance  to  the
Palestinians in  the West  Bank and  the Gaza Strip,  as called  for by  the
Secretary-General.  The focal  points play a lead role in the development of
United Nations sectoral  strategies and programmes  of action; assist United
Nations  organizations  not yet  operational  by  providing  information  on
Palestinian   priorities  and   donor  interests;   and  inform  Palestinian
institutions and donors of the capacities  within the United Nations family.
Under  the  umbrella of  the  priority  sector  groups,  all United  Nations
organizations  with an interest in a particular sector  can find a framework
for inclusion  in the common development  assistance effort.   By organizing
United  Nations agencies  according  to their  sectoral  interests,  greater
efficiency in planning and output can be achieved and duplication avoided.

10.  The United  Nations focal point for  a priority sector  group generally
serves also as the secretariat for  the corresponding sectoral working group
(under the  Local Aid Coordination Committee)  and thus  ensures that United
Nations  organizations  active  in a  particular  sector  can keep  abreast,
through  the  focal  point,   of  the  priorities  of  relevant  Palestinian
Authority  ministries  and representatives,  as  well  as  of donor  funding
priorities and concerns.

11.  In late  April 1995, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee convened a meeting in
Paris  against  a  backdrop  of   growing  financial  difficulties  for  the
Palestinian  Authority,  which  faced a  projected  budget  deficit  of $136
million.  Within the framework of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee,  on 27 April
1995, the  Palestinian Authority, the Government of Israel and  the Chair of
the  Ad  Hoc  Liaison Committee,  on  behalf  of  the  donors,  concluded  a
Tripartite Plan of  Action that elaborated commitments and  responsibilities
that each party undertook to fulfil in connection  with the donor effort  to
bridge the budget deficit.

12.   At the meeting in  Paris, the Ad Hoc Liaison  Committee re-established
the  Joint  Liaison Committee  (an earlier  version  of this  body had  been
unable to  convene), which  provides a forum  in which to  discuss with  the
Palestinian  Authority economic  policy  and practical  matters  related  to
donor  assistance.  It  is comprised of  the Palestinian  Authority as gavel
holder; Norway, in  its capacity as Chair of  the Ad Hoc Liaison  Committee,
as shepherd;  the United Nations  and the World  Bank as joint  secretariat;
the United States  of America and the European  Union.  Japan was also asked
to  take part in the  meetings.  In  addition to  taking up bilateral issues
relating  to  donor assistance,  the  Joint  Liaison Committee  will discuss
progress in the implementation  of the Tripartite Plan  of Action, with  the
participation of representatives  of Israel, who will be invited  especially
for this  purpose.   The Joint Liaison Committee  first met on 15  May 1995.
At the second meeting  of the Joint  Liaison Committee,  on 18 May 1995,  at
the suggestion of  the United Nations, it was  decided to form a Task  Force
on  Project Implementation  (to be  comprised  of the  Palestinian  Economic
Council  for  Development and  Reconstruction as  gavel  holder, the  United
States and  the  European Commission  as  co-shepherds,  the Office  of  the
Special Coordinator  as secretariat,  as well  as the World  Bank, UNDP  and

UNRWA),   which  will  examine  technical  and  other  obstacles  to  timely
implementation  of   projects  and  seek   solutions  for  addressing   such
obstacles.   The Task Force  reports to the  Joint Liaison  Committee, which
will  discuss obstacles with the appropriate party,  whether the Palestinian
Authority,  the  Government  of  Israel,  the  donors  or  the  implementing
agencies.

13.  The Special Coordinator convened a  second inter-agency meeting in Gaza
in June 1995 to examine the evolving role of the United Nations in the  West
Bank and  the Gaza  Strip and  to review  progress made in  implementing the
United Nations  coordination mechanisms  that had  been agreed  upon at  the
first  inter-agency meeting in  December 1994.   A central  objective of the
meeting was to discuss draft sectoral  strategy papers under preparation  by
the  priority sector  focal points  in consultation  with interested  United
Nations  organizations.   These  sectoral papers  and  accompanying  project
documents  will form the  core of  the United  Nations coordinated, targeted
and unified strategy  for expanding its  ongoing programmes  and undertaking
new  initiatives  for the  benefit  of  the  Palestinian  Authority and  the
Palestinian  people in  the  West  Bank and  the  Gaza Strip  in the  coming
period.  More than  20 agencies and programmes of the United Nations  system
participated.

14.   The sectoral strategy papers  and accompanying  project documents will
provide  the  basis for  the  fund-raising  by  the  United Nations  Special
Coordinator,  on behalf of  and in  coordination with implementing agencies.
There  will be  an opportunity  for  presenting  these targeted  and unified
strategies  to donors in  the Consultative Group chaired  by the World Bank,
to  take place later  in the summer of  1995.  Over the  past 12 months, the
World Bank  and the  Office  of  the Special  Coordinator have  developed  a
strong partnership  on the  ground, exemplified  by frequent  consultations,
and  the joint  secretariat and  co-chair functions  shared by  them  in the
context of  the  Local Aid  Coordination  Committee  and the  Joint  Liaison
Committee.  The respective  roles of the World  Bank and the  United Nations
have,  through  close coordination  and  regular  exchange  of  information,
developed  in  a complementary  fashion.    This  relationship, with  strong
support  from donor  representatives,  has  helped to  focus  the  donor-led
coordination effort  and avoid  duplication of work  and has  allowed for  a
more coordinated approach  between the donors, implementing agencies and the
Palestinian Authority.

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         III.  ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE:  ONGOING PROGRAMMES,
               UNMET NEEDS AND PROPOSALS FOR ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE

15.  After  consultations with  the programmes  and agencies  of the  United
Nations system active in the area (a list  of which appears in the  annex to
the present report),  the Special Coordinator prepared the following  update
on  United Nations  assistance received  by  the  Palestinian people  in the
occupied  territories, as  well  as  an analysis  of needs  still  unmet and
specific proposals for responding effectively to them.


A.  United Nations assistance in infrastructure

16.  The UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People is  oriented
towards water supply, sanitation, agriculture, industry and housing.   Since
the inception  of the  Programme of  Assistance to  the Palestinian  People,
approximately 70  per cent  of the UNDP  budget has been  expended in  these
five areas.  UNDP infrastructure projects  are usually an integrated package

of  technical assistance,  training  and capital  assistance,  with  capital
assistance amounting to 80 per cent  of UNDP budget expenditures.   Projects
are funded through the UNDP central budget and joint funding from donors.

17.     UNDP   has  implemented   projects  targeted   at  improving   water
infrastructure, providing  enhanced  service to  over 200,000  people in  40
villages  and a number  of towns in the  West Bank and the  Gaza Strip.  The
projects have  included the construction of  main lines,  water networks and
reservoirs, the rehabilitation  of springs and wells and the  reconstruction
of  irrigation  channels.    In  addition,   UNDP  has  been  working   with
municipalities,  providing  technical and  management  support to  municipal
water departments  through hands-on training  to operate  and maintain water
supply and distribution systems, as well  as training on management and cost
recovery systems.   In  1994, UNDP  established the  Water Resources  Action
Programme,  with a  mandate to  work  towards  developing and  enhancing the
capacity of the recently established Water  Authority to manage, assess  and
regulate water resources effectively.

18.   In  1987, UNDP  undertook  the  implementation  of a  complete  sewage
collection, treatment  and  disposal  scheme for  the northern  Gaza  Strip,
including the reconstruction and upgrading of  a treatment plant and related
infrastructure for  the municipality of  Gaza; a  sewage collection  network
with  five pumping stations  for Jabalia  refugee camp;  a sewage collection
and disposal  system for Beit  Hanoun Town; a  similar sewage  system in the
non-sewered area around the Tal-Ezza'tar refugee  camp and the upgrading and
proper operation of the main sewage treatment plant at Beit Lahia.

19.   In the  West Bank,  UNDP constructed  a sewage  collection network  in
Balata  refugee  camp  in  Nablus.     UNDP  is  presently  working  on  the
preparation of a sewage master plan for the  middle region of the West Bank,
covering 2 main cities and over 30 localities.  Similarly, a project is  due
to start  in the city  of Hebron which  will focus  on the formulation  of a
conceptual master plan for sewerage.

 20.  UNDP has  constructed 223 classrooms in various locations in the  West
Bank and  the Gaza Strip, serving  over 9,000 female and  male students.   A
school complex  in the city  of Jericho will  soon be completed,  addressing
the city's  need  for school  space  for the  next  five  years.   UNDP,  in
coordination  with the cooperative  representing Gaza fishermen, constructed
14 fish  retail stores, an administration  building for  the cooperative, an
ice block factory and a refrigeration facility.   In 1993, UNDP  implemented
a  programme  to  encourage  the  use  of  modern  irrigation  techniques by
Palestinian  farmers.   In  the northern  region  of the  Gaza  Strip,  UNDP
constructed a  packing and  grading house  for the  Beit Lahia  agricultural
cooperative  and  installed automated  equipment  for  packing  and  grading
tomatoes  and  potatoes.   UNDP  has  initiated  a project  to  renovate two
Palestinian intermediate-level agricultural training schools  at Al-Aroob in
Hebron and Beit Hanoun in Gaza.

21.   UNDP is reconstructing hospitals  in the West  Bank cities of  Hebron,
Beit-Jala and  Nablus.  In  1993, UNDP completed  the construction  of a new
east wing at  Hebron Princess Alia Hospital,  which serves as  an outpatient
clinic,  and renovated an additional one  third of the  hospital.  In  early
1994, UNDP began  construction to upgrade facilities at Beit-Jala  Hospital.
Also  in  1994, UNDP  initiated construction  activities  for expanding  the
Women's Union Hospital of  Nablus.  The proposed two-storey annex will house
three operating theatres, including services and intensive care units.

22.   In the West  Bank, UNDP implemented  construction of  a complex  of 86
stores  and  a cold  storage  facility  at  the  Nablus municipal  vegetable
wholesale  market, with built-in  cost recovery  mechanisms to ensure future
maintenance.   In Gaza,  in 1994,  UNDP completed  a 20-ton-per-hour  citrus
juice factory.   The  plant consumes  about 30 per  cent of the  Gaza citrus
crop  per annum (45,000  tons) and  produces fresh  juice, juice concentrate
and essential oils.

23.   UNDP is  presently implementing  a housing project in  Beit Hanoun, in
the Gaza  Strip, which  will provide  256 fully  serviced housing  units for
families  of  the  Palestinian  police  force  with  public  utilities.   In
addition, UNDP has recently funded a  physical planning study throughout the
West Bank  and the  Gaza Strip  to ascertain  disparities in  infrastructure
requirements.    The   study  will  identify  investment  opportunities   in
agriculture  and  local  infrastructure,  including  roads  and   transport,
markets  and storage facilities,  water supply  and sanitation,  solid waste
collection and disposal, housing, education and health, and power supply.

24.   UNRWA has  provided basic  infrastructure facilities  for over 450,000
Palestinian refugees residing in refugee camps  throughout the West Bank and
the Gaza  Strip.   During its  45 years of  operation in  the West Bank  and
Gaza,  UNRWA has undertaken a number of infrastructure  projects in order to
improve  various facilities,  including  schools, health  clinics, shelters,
roadways, water supply and sanitation networks.

25.   A significant proportion  of the funds  required for routine upgrading
of infrastructure has been financed through UNRWA's  General Fund.  In 1988,
UNRWA launched  its Expanded  Programme of  Assistance in  order to  solicit
donor funding for more substantial  infrastructural projects in all sectors.
Owing to the deplorable state of  environmental health, special priority was
given to sewage and drainage projects in Gaza, especially in Beach Camp  and
the  municipality  of Gaza.    In  October  1993, UNRWA  launched  its Peace
Implementation Programme, targeted  at infrastructural projects in the  West
Bank and  the Gaza  Strip, of which  most projects are  either completed  or
under  implementation.    The  second  phase  of  the  Peace  Implementation
Programme was launched  in November 1994. Under  the first phase, funds have
been received for environmental health  projects in several of  the camps in
the West Bank and Gaza, including  projects to improve sewerage, storm-water
drainage  and solid  waste disposal.    UNRWA  is presently  negotiating the
implementation of  sewerage and storm-water drainage  projects in the  Beach
Camp-Sheikh Radwan area.

26.  Under the first phase of the Peace Implementation Programme, UNRWA  has
already  implemented  some   $30  million  worth  of  projects  to   upgrade
educational  infrastructure.   In  Gaza  alone,  UNRWA has  constructed  and
equipped  24  new  schools  and  has   added  specialized  rooms  and  extra
classrooms  to a range of existing  schools.  In the West Bank, nine schools
have been  upgraded  and an  additional  nine  schools are  currently  under
construction.   Under the second phase  of the Programme,  UNRWA has so  far
been able to  generate funds to  permit the construction  of one  additional
school as  well as 42  additional classrooms in  Gaza.  Additional  projects
have been designed and are awaiting funding.

27.  Under the  first phase of the  Peace Implementation Programme, UNRWA is
currently implementing $9 million worth of  projects in the health  sectors,
including construction of a  college of nursing, a dental clinic at  Maghazi
refugee camp and  two health centres at Deir  el-Balah and Khan Younis.   In
the West  Bank, new health centres/clinics  are being  constructed in Biddo,
Nablus, Ein  Arik, Beit  Our, Ya'bad  and Ramadin.   In  addition, UNRWA  is
currently in the  final stages of constructing  and equipping a  new 230-bed
hospital in Khan Younis, which should be operational in early 1996.

28.  Under the  first phase of the Peace Implementation Programme, UNRWA has
accorded  a  special  priority  to  rehabilitating  the  shelters  of  those
refugees  who are worst  off, particularly  those families  without an adult
male breadwinner,  UNRWA's special hardship cases.   Within  the first phase
of the Programme, $20.8 million has been raised for this purpose and  within
the second  phase an  additional $6  million has  been raised.   Under  this
programme, a total of  3,626 shelters will be rehabilitated and, in Gaza, an
additional 2,078 shelters will be re-roofed.   Rehabilitation of over  2,400
shelters is now completed and work is under way on the remaining shelters.

29.  The International Civil Aviation  Organization (ICAO) fielded a mission
to  the   occupied  territories  in  April  1995  to  assess  the  needs  of

Palestinian  civil aviation.   The  ICAO  mission,  in cooperation  with the
Palestinian  Civil   Aviation  Authority,  identified   the  need  for   the
construction of an airport  in the Gaza Strip and one in Jericho, as well as
the need for a civil aviation master plan.


1.  Main development needs

30.  Infrastructure development is intimately  related to the development of
other  sectors.  Roads,  water and sanitation, electricity and communication
systems, hospitals  and schools are the  foundations of  economic and social
activities crucial to the development  of education, health  care, industry,
business and agriculture.

31.  Water infrastructure in the West Bank and the Gaza  Strip is inadequate
and  deteriorating.   Large  volumes of  water go  unaccounted for  owing to
extensive leakage, incorrect metering and theft.   Wells require  upgrading,
and  supply networks  should be  rehabilitated.   Institutional  constraints
also affect  the  delivery of  water  services.   Small  municipalities  and
village  councils have  limited human  and  financial  resources, and,  as a
result, supply,  management and  planning are  handicapped.   The result  is
ineffective operation and maintenance  and ad hoc  investment, planning  and
execution.  Efficient water preservation and distribution systems should  be
put  in place.   Greater  focus  should  be placed  on building  Palestinian
capacity  in   water  resource  planning   and  management  (water   policy,
legislative  frameworks,   medium-  and  long-term  management   strategies,
macroeconomic planning, etc.).

32.   Environmental  health and  sanitation  infrastructure  is in  need  of
upgrading  in  most areas.    Inadequate  solid  waste  disposal and  sewage
systems,  including proper  treatment  and disposal  schemes,  endanger  the
quality of  the water  supply and public  health.  Most  communities in  the
West Bank  and the  Gaza Strip, including  those in densely  populated urban
areas, dispose of raw  sewage into cess  pits, which often overflow or  seep
into  underground  aquifers.   In  many  municipal  areas  served by  sewage
schemes, the collection  networks are antiquated and poorly maintained,  and
regularly overflow  into the streets.   Sewage treatment  plants, where they
exist, are inadequate,  incomplete, poorly maintained and require  extensive
upgrading,  rehabilitation  and  planned  operation  and  maintenance.    In
particular, the  benefit of completed, ongoing  and planned  projects in the
Gaza Strip  will not be fully  realized until the  treatment plant south  of
Gaza City has  undergone a major  upgrading and  expansion.   This plant  is
integral to the environmental health programme around Gaza City.

33.  Agriculture is the  most important sector of the  economies of the West
Bank and the Gaza  Strip.  Palestinian agriculture  operates in a context of
poor  and few  agricultural  roads, limited  application of  new irrigation,
land  reclamation  constraints  and  the  absence  of  appropriate  physical
facilities  (packing and  grading houses,  cold storage  facilities,  etc.).
Economic  development  in   the  occupied  territories  should  entail   the
upgrading of  the agricultural industrial base, including the development of
modern techniques  of  cultivation,  irrigation,  packaging,  refrigeration,
storage and shipment.

34.    The  infrastructure  for  private  sector  and  industry  is lacking,
particularly the transportation  infrastructure.   There are no airports  or
seaports, and  existing roads  are inadequate.   Many  villages in  the West
Bank  have no paved  access.  In Gaza, most of  the road system is less than
five metres  wide and is only semi-paved or unpaved.   As a result, industry
is  unable  to  transport  raw  material  and  finished  products,  trade is
retarded and products  reach the  market in such  poor condition that  costs
cannot  be  recovered.    Ninety-five  per  cent  of  the  urban Palestinian
population of the West Bank enjoys  continuous electrical supply.   However,
most rural areas receive  electricity for a limited time every day.  Twenty-
five  villages  have  no  electrical  supply  at  all.    While  almost  all
households  in Gaza  are  connected  to  the electricity  network,  existing

transformers  fail to meet  the combined  demand of  industrial and domestic
consumers.   Frequent  voltage fluctuations  and  the  fact that  the supply
rarely  reaches the standard  220 volts,  undermine the  development of Gaza
industry.  Machinery is  damaged  by  surges  and  fluctuations  and  cannot
operate  at  peak  efficiency  if  the  electrical  supply  is   inadequate.
Similarly, communications  systems are  presently controlled  solely by  the
Israeli  monopoly, except  in the  Gaza  Strip, where  the local  utility is
controlled by the Palestinian Authority. The  majority of villages and camps
in   the  West   Bank  and   the  Gaza   Strip   have   no  access   to  the
telecommunications  network.    Even  in  urban  areas,  the  grid  requires
expansion and extensive maintenance.  In  order to be competitive, industry,
and the private sector  in general, requires  an improved and expanded  road
system, upgraded  and expanded  electrical and  communications networks  and
access to  technology.   There is  considerable need  to construct  national
power generation  plants, develop energy  planning and information  systems,
create energy  efficiency programmes for industry  and the  power sector and
explore alternative renewable energy technologies (solar, wind and  others).
While  primarily  benefiting  the private  sector,  the  need  for  improved
telephone  and related  services such  as postal services,  telex, telephone
and data  communications  will also  enhance  the  provision of  health  and
social services and the quality of life in general.

35.   The pressure on  housing is very  real.   There is a need  to plan and
construct  additional  housing units,  as  well  as  to  improve the  living
conditions of the refugees through rehabilitation of existing shelters.

36.   The education system faces  critical infrastructure  problems, such as
overcrowded  classrooms,  decrepit physical  facilities  and  a  near  total
absence of libraries or science  laboratories.  Priority should be placed on
rehabilitation of old infrastructure and the construction of  new/additional
buildings,  classrooms and laboratories to meet the  quickly expanding needs
of a growing population.

37.  Government health  care facilities are deteriorating, poorly maintained
and under-equipped.  The number of  hospital beds is insufficient and poorly
distributed.    Construction   and  rehabilitation  of  hospitals,  clinics,
operating  theatres,  rehabilitation centres  and  special  care  facilities
should  be  combined  with  the  upgrading  of  medical  equipment  and  the
development of cost recovery mechanisms to sustain such inputs.


2.  Integrated United Nations approach

38.    The  focus of  the  United Nations  strategy  for infrastructure  and
housing  development   should  remain   on  rehabilitation,   operation  and
maintenance  of the  existing physical infrastructure facilities  as a first
priority,  while simultaneously  developing sustainable  capacity  and skill
within  the Palestinian  community  to  manage,  operate and  maintain  such
facilities, through  the establishment  of adequate  management systems  and
structures,  on-the-job  training and  transfer  of  skills  and  knowledge.
Capital  investments in  infrastructure  should be  combined  with  tailored
technical assistance packages.

39.   In addition,  new  areas should  be  developed  for new  housing  with
integrated housing  and infrastructure  programmes.   In general,  attention
should be given  to the fundamental  connection between infrastructure needs
and housing strategies, preferably in a comprehensive development plan.

40.  In  rehabilitating and upgrading existing infrastructure and  services,
and developing  new  ones, the  institutional strategy  should be  carefully
elaborated   with   the   Palestinian   Authority.       The   International
Telecommunication Union  (ITU) in  telecommunications, the Universal  Postal
Union (UPU) in postal communications, as well  as the United Nations  Centre
for Human Settlements (Habitat), UNRWA and UNDP have been  active to varying
degrees  in this  process. The  financial strategy  should be  based on  two
options:   (a) cost recovery through  user charges  complemented by targeted

subsidies; and  (b) optimum mobilization of  fiscal resources.   An adequate
financial strategy is  a prerequisite for sustainable development.  Finally,
the  technical  strategy  should  take   an  approach  based  on  affordable
standards and labour-intensive methods and techniques.

41.     The   housing  policy   should  focus   on  strengthening   existing
institutional capacity  in the  public and  private sector;  housing finance
and affordability,  including credit and  innovative loan products;  labour-
intensive  construction  techniques; use  of  small-scale  contractors;  and
support  to the informal  sector technically  and financially.   Work should
also  proceed on  creating a  favourable policy  environment and legislative
regulatory  instruments  (planning  standards,  building  by-laws,  building
permits, etc.)  suitable to  local conditions.   Land  for housing  and land
markets   is  crucial,   and  any   housing  policy   should  address   both
environmental and equity  objectives.  The objective  should be to strike  a
balance  between  the  land market  and  its  capacity to  deliver  land  on
commercial  terms,  and  land  resources  management   as  a  condition  for
sustainable  human development.   The  preparatory  process for  the  United
Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II),  which will be held at
Istanbul in June  1996, will  provide opportunities for Palestinian  policy-
makers  to  discuss  housing  issues,  as  well  as  a  sustained  flow   of
information.

42.   The  long-term feasibility  and sustainability  of any  infrastructure
project depends  on the capability  of covering the  running costs.   Donors
have been reluctant to  fund running costs of projects.  Where projects  aim
at providing critical services to the  Palestinian community, such as large-
scale  infrastructure  projects  (sewage/water  schemes,  treatment  plants,
etc.), a progressive transfer of  the maintenance and operation costs to the
managing institutions should  be designed into capital investment  projects,
together  with the phasing-in  of cost  recovery mechanisms.   Cost recovery
mechanisms can only work when clients  are satisfied with services  provided
and are convinced that fees will keep systems running in the future.


B.  United Nations assistance in institution-building

43.   Palestinian institutions  in the  West Bank  and the  Gaza Strip  have
existed in three distinct areas:   central government, local government, and
non-governmental organizations.  In central  government, Palestinians filled
technical  and operational functions.   As a  result, there  is a relatively
large and  skilled human resource  base for central government, particularly
within  sectors  such  as  agriculture,  health,  education,  and   finance.
However, there  is a  gap at  the public  administration management,  policy
formulation  and   decision-making  levels   of  central   government  which
previously  fell under  the responsibility of Israeli  military officials of
the civil administration.

44.  The Palestinian  Authority assumed responsibility  for these  functions
in  the Gaza Strip  in July 1994,  and the scope  of its  powers extended to
areas of  central government  responsibility in  the West  Bank in  December
1994.   As a result, a  new level of Palestinian institutions was created in
the  area.   In  response,  assistance  by  the  United  Nations  system  in
institution-building has evolved rapidly over the past year, providing  help
with  the organization and  start-up of  the Palestinian  Authority, both to
its  ministries, which  coordinate activities  and formulate  national-level
policies in different sectors, and to local institutional structures.

45.  In the  area of local government, Palestinian public institutions  have
existed  for decades in the  form of small to medium-sized village councils,
local development  councils and medium  to large municipal  administrations.
Many of the larger municipal  administrations have not been  able to perform
fully the role  of "civic"  agents; however,  many have  accumulated a  good
deal  of expertise in  the operation  and maintenance  of public investments
and utilities.

46.   At the  non-governmental  level, a  large number  of Palestinian  non-
governmental   organizations,  sectoral   associations  of  non-governmental
organizations,  charitable  societies,  cooperatives,  research centres  and
community-based organizations  have operated in the  West Bank  and the Gaza
Strip. Many  non-governmental organizations  have served -  and continue  to
serve - vital functions.   Support from the  United Nations system  has been
provided to and through  this network of  non-governmental organizations and
community-based organizations.

47.  In the  absence of a  central Palestinian authority, UNDP provided  its
public sector support  at the municipal and local  levels.  Over the  years,
UNDP  has supported  various municipalities,  primarily  through large-scale
infrastructure investments  combined with training and technical assistance.
Since   1994,  UNDP   has   supported  rural   infrastructure   investments,
participatory planning  and the  upgrading of nine village  councils through
its  Local  Rural Development  Programme.   UNDP has  responded to  the most
urgent needs of  the Palestinian Authority  by providing  emergency start-up
funding  and procurement  support  to  its  14 ministries,  as  well as  the
Palestinian  Economic  Council  for  Development   and  Reconstruction,  the
Palestinian Central Bureau  of Statistics, the Palestinian Computer  Centre,
the  Civil   Defense  Department,   Palestinian  TV   and  the   Palestinian
Environmental Protection Agency.

48.  Since early  1995, UNDP has also been  managing the TOKTEN (Transfer of
Knowledge  Through  Expatriate  Nationals)  Programme,  which  sponsors  the
return of Palestinian expatriates living abroad for short-duration  missions
to  provide   advisory  services,  consultancy   studies  and  training   to
Palestinian  Authority ministries and private sector institutions.  UNDP has
also provided  financial support to MAS  (the Palestine  Economic Policy and
Research  Institute)  to undertake  economic  policy  research  and  develop
policy options for the management of the State.

 49.   In  addition, the  multi-project Employment-Generating  Public  Works
Programme,  established with assistance  from UNDP  and donors, builds local
institutional capacity under  the auspices of  Programme Management  Unit of
the  Palestinian Economic  Council  for Development  and  Reconstruction  in
Gaza.   The sustained  efforts of the  Programme Management  Unit have  been
central   to   the   development   and   implementation   of  infrastructure
rehabilitation and construction programmes.

50.  UNRWA's  long history  of assistance  to education,  health and  social
services for  Palestinian  refugees has  had  a  significant impact  on  the
future prospects  for institution-building within  these and other  sectors.
With  over 5,000  teachers  providing primary,  preparatory  and  vocational
schooling to  145,000 students,  UNRWA dominates  the public  sector in  the
West Bank and the  Gaza Strip. UNRWA offers basic health and social services
to  over 1,000,000  registered refugees,  operating around  230  out-patient
facilities  and employing  some 100  physicians  and  450 other  health care
workers.    In the  Gaza Strip,  UNRWA provides  monthly in-kind  support to
almost 100,000 of the poorest refugees.

51.   UNRWA's activities  over the  past 50 years have  built up substantive
local  capacity  and  have  dramatically  improved  the  Palestinian   human
resource  base  in  health  care,  education  and  social  welfare.    These
capacities  help set the agenda for institutional development across several
sectors and in the area of public administration in particular.

52.  UNICEF has focused  its activities in  four key areas:  primary  health
care,  primary  education,  early  childhood  development,  and  youth   and
community  development.     Since  the  establishment  of  the   Palestinian
Authority,  these priorities  have  shifted  in nature  towards a  long-term
institution-building approach, with an emphasis on  building the capacity of
the  new Palestinian  ministries and  agencies.    UNICEF is  supporting the
Palestinian Authority  in its  efforts to  develop a  national programme  of
action  for  the  Palestinian  child,  which  will  provide  a  broad policy
framework for addressing children's issues for  the remainder of the  decade

and beyond.

53.   In partnership with the Palestinian Authority,  UNESCO has developed a
programme  of  assistance  consisting of  27  priority  projects  within its
fields of competence.  These include  activities to promote strengthening of
the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture.

54.   As a result of their several missions to the occupied territories, FAO
and  the  Economic and  Social  Commission  for  Western  Asia (ESCWA)  have
jointly recommended an  action programme for the restructuring,  development
and strengthening of the Palestinian public agricultural institutions.

55.   In February  1994, Habitat  conducted  a study  focusing on  capacity-
building  at the municipality  level in  the occupied  territories.   In its
report, Habitat  recommends a series of  support programmes,  which could be
incorporated  into  a  comprehensive  capacity-strengthening  programme  for
municipalities.

56.   WHO  assistance has  focused principally on  institutional development
and  building an  infrastructure for  primary health  care, secondary health
care and environmental  health, primarily in the  Gaza Strip.  WHO  provided
resources for  the establishment and operation of a number of departments of
the Palestinian Health Authority.  WHO also responded to the request of  the
Palestinian  Council for Health  for financial  and other  assistance in the
recruitment of  staff and the  equipping of five  units responsible  for the
transfer of health services to the  Palestinian Authority, the establishment
of a health-data system  to serve as the  basis for health  planning; design
and evaluation of  an insurance system; design of a regulatory framework for
health  services;  and establishment  of  priorities  in  the  environmental
health sector.

57.     After  fielding  a  multi-disciplinary   mission  to  the   occupied
territories  in  December  1993,  ILO  made  organizational  and  functional
recommendations   to   strengthen   the   Ministry   of   Labour,   workers'
organizations such as the General Federation  of Trade Unions and employers'
organizations such as the Chambers of Commerce.   Meanwhile, ILO has already
started technical assistance and advisory support  to the Ministry of Labour
and the other institutions.

58.   The Special  Coordinator in  the Occupied  Territories is coordinating
bilateral and  multilateral training programmes  for the Palestinian  police
force. Utilizing  a "training-of-trainers" approach,  courses have thus  far
been  given for  over 500  police  trainers.   The Special  Coordinator  has
played a  central role in  coordinating assistance to the  police in several
areas:    in-kind  donations;  training;  and,  together  with  UNRWA,   the
channelling  of  donor contributions  to cover  salary  and other  recurrent
costs of  the Palestinian  police force.   Through  close coordination  with
donors and daily  contacts with senior police  officials, the Office of  the
Special  Coordinator maintains  an overall view  of the needs  of the police
force and the types of assistance  offered, thereby avoiding duplication and
overlap.

59.  In-kind donations for the  police were received from 16  donors.  These
donations  covered  requirements for:    communications  equipment, computer
systems, construction of premises, forensic equipment, housing for  families
of the police force,  personal and unit  equipment, and vehicles.   Training
for members  of the police  force were provided  by six  donor countries and
two United Nations organizations (the Centre for Human  Rights and the Crime
Prevention and Criminal  Justice Branch of the United Nations  Secretariat).
Training  covered  the  following  areas:    community  policing,   forensic
science,  human  rights, investigation,  management,  maintenance  of public
order, public  order and special  duty, rescue  service, role of  the police
and traffic.  Most training activities were carried  out in the Gaza  Strip,
though  some courses  were  provided in  donor countries.    In  early 1995,
discussion between donor  representatives and the Palestinian police  force,
facilitated by  the Special  Coordinator, began  on the  establishment of  a

Palestinian Police  Academy to  be built  in Gaza.   By  June 1995,  several
donors had indicated to the Special  Coordinator that they were  considering
providing  a combined total  of about  $1.1 million,  which would  cover the
construction costs of the academy and resident dormitories for cadets.

60.  The  Department for Development Support  and Management Services of the
Secretariat has undertaken two  needs assessment missions  at the invitation
of the Palestinian  Authority - one on  strengthening the capacities  of the
Ministry  of Planning  and International  Cooperation  and the  Ministry  of
Local  Government  Affairs, and  the other  on developing  the institutional
capacity  of the Palestinian  Authority in  terms of  civil service training
and strengthening the administrative functioning of the various  ministries.
United Nations Volunteers has also been  exploring avenues of assistance  to
the Palestinian Authority and to United  Nations organizations active on the
ground requiring the specific expertise of United Nations Volunteers.

61.  The  United Nations  Institute for Training  and Research (UNITAR)  has
assisted  Palestinians through training programmes in multilateral diplomacy
and  negotiations.  Recently,  UNITAR designed  a training  programme on the
use of  information  system techniques  for  map  production (such  as  land
surveying, photogrammetry,  cartography, geographic  information systems and
remote  sensing)  for  Palestinians   in  the  Ministry   of  Planning   and
International Cooperation,  the Ministry  of Local  Government Affairs,  the
Palestinian Geographic Centre and the Ministry of Housing.

62.   In its  April 1995 mission  to the occupied  territories cited  above,
ICAO  emphasized the  need to  restructure  the Palestinian  Civil  Aviation
Authority  and  to establish  a comprehensive  training  programme with  the
technical assistance of ICAO.


1.  Main development needs

63.   The years of very limited  access of Palestinians to public office and
the absence of  opportunities for experience  and training  in the field  of
public administration,  have left Palestinians  with an impoverished  public
administration  capacity.   Palestinians have expressed the  need to develop
stable and lasting public institutions which  can deliver public services to
the  Palestinian population in  an efficient  and effective  manner.  Public
institutions should adopt and practice uniform and  sound administrative and
management practices and  develop a well-functioning civil service that  can
implement policy decisions within a cohesive framework of Palestinian law.

64.  Public sector institution-building in the West Bank and the Gaza  Strip
requires  assistance   in  four   key  areas  critical   to  stability   and
sustainability of the public institutions:   the structure and operation  of
the ministries,  the layering  of administrative  capacity, human  resources
management and development, and the legal system.

65.   The  Palestinian Authority  has repeatedly  stated that it  is working
towards the  visible demarcation of responsibilities among its ministries in
order to rationalize their respective roles  and to define the relationships
between  them.  The  operational  and  administrative  procedures  that  the
ministries  use to conduct  their day-to-day  business need  to be improved,
and there  needs to be  (a) a degree of  decentralization of decision-making
to qualified  managers and  technical specialists;  (b) a  building up of  a
professional  civil   service  based  on   merit;  (c)   an  improvement  in
communication flows within the ministries; and  (d) a procedure for  record-
keeping in order to establish a  solid foundation for institutional  memory.
In  addition, there  needs to  be clarification  as  to  which layer  of the
administration  - central government  level, local  government level or non-
governmental organization level - bears responsibility  for what fields,  in
light of comparative advantages of each and  the benefits to the development
of government and civil society.
  66.   The  Palestinian  Authority must  develop standardized  and  uniform
procedures,  establish  a  performance-related  career  system  and  provide

training  to  its civil  servants.    Training requirements  throughout  the
Palestinian  Authority are  large, but  can  be  grouped into  the following
categories:   training in public sector  management throughout  the ranks of
the  Palestinian Authority,  specialized training  in functional  areas  and
training in administrative processes.  As with other administrations,  there
is  a  need  to  centralize  the  functions  of  assessment  of  Palestinian
Authority training requirements.

67.   Economic  and social  development,  democratic consolidation  and  the
promotion and protection of human rights all require a strong, rational  and
predictable legal system  for their  effective implementation.  The  current
situation is characterized by a  patchwork of Ottoman,  Egyptian, Jordanian,
and  British Mandate laws, Israeli military orders,  Palestinian decrees and
a  justice system which  is nascent  and ill-equipped.   Rationalization and
reform  of   the  legal   system  to   international  standards,  with   the
corresponding  independent  administration  of  justice,  represent  sizable
tasks for  the Palestinian Authority, and  the Authority  could benefit from
appropriate  international  support in  fairly  protecting the  population's
interests under the rule of law.


2.  Integrated United Nations approach

68.    The   strategy  of  the   United  Nations   system  for  support   to
institutionbuilding  is  aimed  at  moving  beyond  emergency  and  start-up
assistance to the  nascent Palestinian Authority institutions towards  long-
term issues  of building sustainable national  capacities in  all aspects of
governance.   Once sectoral  development strategies have been articulated by
the Palestinian Authority,  follow-up technical and  advisory support can be
provided by the United Nations system.

69.  A key  starting-point in public administration development was the  May
1995  UNDP  mission,  through  its  Management  Development  and  Governance
Division,  to work  with the  Palestinian  Authority  to identify  needs for
action in  public  administration  development  and  begin  the  process  of
formulating   an  overall   national  strategy   for  public  administration
development.

70.  The  mission discussed the clarification  of ministry mandates with the
Palestinian Authority, emphasizing that it  should be handled in  such a way
as to  meet the development needs  defined above.   The mission also  raised
the issue  of the development of an internal management  framework to steer,
coordinate and implement  its public administration  development activities.
An appropriate structure  for undertaking public administration  development
needs to  be put in  place both  at the policy-making level,  so that policy
decisions  effecting public  administration development can be  made, and at
the  operational  level,  so  that  the  groundwork, including  studies  and
technical  work, can  be undertaken  upon  which recommendations  for policy
decisions will  be  made.    Training for  civil  servants  must also  be  a
priority, as  should strengthening  local government  structures to  promote
the full  contribution of Palestinian  municipalities, towns and villages to
national development.   An  exchange of  experience and  expertise needs  to
take  place  between large  and  relatively  successful  municipalities  and
smaller village and local councils; the  supporting and coordinating role of
the Ministry  of Local Government Affairs  needs to be strengthened; and the
role of  Palestinian non-governmental organizations,  many of which  operate
in the public sphere, needs to be rationalized.   The technical expertise of
Habitat can be utilized here.

71.   In addition,  the difficult process of  developing a fully Palestinian
legal framework, based on  the existing laws  as a starting point, needs  to
be undertaken in  order to legitimize the legal  system and provide a  solid
legal  foundation for development.   Further  support will  also be required
for the strengthening of institutions for the administration of justice.

C.  United Nations assistance in employment generation

72.   ILO has  been monitoring  the conditions  of workers  in the  occupied
territories for  almost two decades.   The Director-General  of ILO provides
the International Labour Conference with an  annual report on the  situation
of workers  of the West  Bank and the Gaza Strip.   Soon after the September
1993 signing  of the  Declaration of  Principles on  Interim Self-Government
Arrangements,  Palestine Liberation  Organization Chairman  Arafat wrote and
asked ILO to prepare a "blueprint" for the  employment and social sectors of
the  West Bank and  Gaza Strip.   The ILO policy  and programme suggestions,
agreed to by  the Palestinian Authority in January  1994, is contained in  a
report of January  1994 entitled "Capacity-building for social  development:
programme   of  action   for   transition  in   the   occupied   Palestinian
territories."

73.  In  July 1994, the Special Coordinator and UNDP in cooperation with the
Programme  Management   Unit  of  the   Palestinian  Economic  Council   for
Development   and   Reconstruction,  launched   an  $8   million  employment
generation/public  works programme with  funds from  Japan and  Norway.  The
two principal  objectives of the programme, which became known  as the "Gaza
clean-up", were to create jobs immediately  and to generate improvements  in
the overall quality of life for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

74.   The first  phase of  the  "Gaza clean-up"  programme (September  1994-
February 1995)  sought to rehabilitate the  poor state  of infrastructure in
the  Gaza Strip, improve  environmental conditions  and undertake  a massive
house  and public  buildings painting  campaign.    Solid waste  from public
areas  was  collected and  several parks  were  rehabilitated, improved  and
equipped to  provide communities with an  improved social  environment.  The
programme was implemented  in five areas  of the  Gaza Strip  using over  22
small contractors  and with a direct labour content of  over 4,000 temporary
jobs, many of them for ex-detainees.

75.   The "Gaza clean-up" initiative  illustrated the  immediate impact that
coordinated efforts  can have.   The  sectoral working  group on  employment
generation of  the Local Aid Coordination  Committee has  since prepared two
documents  identifying  priorities and  projects in  the area  of employment
generation.   Through  the coordinated  efforts  of  UNRWA, ILO,  UNDP,  the
Programme  Management   Unit  of  the   Palestinian  Economic  Council   for
Development and Reconstruction, and  donors, the sectoral  working group  on
employment   generation  has   identified  rapidly   implementable   project
proposals  amounting   to  over  $60   million,  all  designed  to  generate
employment opportunities in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.

76.  In this  connection, UNRWA received funding  amounting to $10.5 million
in  the  Gaza Strip  for  shelter  rehabilitation and  environmental  health
projects,  and is currently in the final stages  of negotiations for funding
of the construction  of playgrounds and schools.   As a natural  progression
from  this initiative, a  second package  of proposals  is being formulated,
covering more sustainable  job creation,  over a longer  time scale.   UNRWA
has  identified  the  need  to  construct additional  schools,  upgrade  its
vocational  training  centre, extend  the  graduate  trainee  programme  and
implement  various environmental  health  projects.   These  proposals  will
provide much-needed  services to the  community, and at  the same time  will
provide  employment  opportunities.   UNRWA's  Income  Generation Programme,
which runs a revolving  loan programme in support of small enterprises, also
targets job creation as a priority in its project development.

77.  UNDP received funding for the following programmes which are being  co-
implemented  with  the Palestinian  Economic  Council  for  Development  and
Reconstruction:  (a) the Gaza clean-up  project, completed in December 1994;
(b) the parks  and neighbourhood re-transformation project, presently  under
implementation;  (c) the  employment-intensive tiling  and paving  programme
for  Gaza City, launched  in December  1994; (d) paving and  tiling of roads
and sidewalks; and (e) rehabilitation of social infrastructure.

78.     ILO  has  the   following  ongoing  employment-related   activities:
reintegration,  through  employment,  of  ex-detainees;  assistance  in  the
creation of a Ministry  of Labour and the  development of labour  policy and
legislation; capacity-building of the Federation of Palestinian Chambers  of
Commerce; capacity-building  for  Palestinian  trade  union  federation;  an
income-generating  programme for  the disabled  through the  production  and
maintenance  of wheel chairs;  assistance to  the Palestinian Central Bureau
of  Statistics,  including a  regular  labour  force  survey; and  technical
assistance,  including the  preparation of  a  strategy paper,  for  labour-
intensive infrastructure.

79.     The   main  implementing   agencies  specifically   addressing   the
unemployment problem are UNRWA,  UNDP and the  Palestinian Economic  Council
for Development and  Reconstruction.  Other project managers include  sector
ministries,    municipalities,   village   councils   and   non-governmental
organizations.   The management  capacity of  these implementation  agencies
has expanded  considerably in the last  year.  UNRWA  has increased its  job
creation activities from $1 to  $2 million per year prior to the signing  of
the  Declaration of Principles,  to about  $35 million in 1994.   The figure
for UNDP  for 1994 is $22 million, up from $11  million, and the Palestinian
Economic Council  for Development and  Reconstruction is currently  managing
over $15 million worth  of infrastructure projects.   In order to expand the
employment generation programme,  all existing project management  capacity,
in  particular  project  implementation  capacity,  will  have  to  be  used
effectively, and, furthermore, additional capacity will have to be created.

1.  Main development needs

80.   Unemployment  in  the Gaza  Strip is  the  most immediate  social  and
economic problem facing the development  effort in the occupied territories.
Massive unemployment  is  at the  core  of  social, economic  and  political
instability.  It  is causing severe damage to  Palestinian society and is  a
potential threat  to the stability upon  which development and peace must be
built.  Palestinians, donors  and the United  Nations are in agreement  over
the need  for short-term  employment generation  programmes  focused on  the
Gaza Strip.

81.   A preliminary  review by ILO of  the construction techniques presently
in  use  indicates that  shifting  to  more labour-intensive  techniques for
certain  activities  (e.g.  sewerage  and  surface  drainage)  could  create
additional  employment,   while  for  other  construction  activities  (e.g.
building of schools)  possibilities for increasing the  labour-intensiveness
are very limited.   To obtain a  more substantial enhancement of  employment
in the  short term  would require  an immediate  increase in  the volume  of
infrastructure investments.

82.   Unemployment  is a  structural problem  requiring long-term solutions.
The economy  of the Gaza  Strip is at  present incapable  of absorbing those
workers  who are currently  unemployed, and  it is unlikely that  it will be
able to absorb  the expected increases in the  number of job-seekers in  the
years ahead.  Specific measures  to address this problem  should encompass a
combination of policy instruments at both macro  and micro levels and should
include labour migration,  employment services, training and development  of
small and  medium-sized enterprises  as part of  the development  of a  job-
creation strategy for the Gaza Strip.


2.  Integrated United Nations approach

83.     A  United   Nations  strategy   should  focus   on  increasing   the
labourintensiveness of individual projects,  while simultaneously increasing
the  volume  of  projects  undertaken  using  all  available  implementation
capacities.  This is  being pursued by UNDP, UNRWA and ILO through the Local
Aid Coordination Committee sectoral working group on employment  generation,
together with the Palestinian Authority and  donor countries.  In  addition,
an  integrated  approach  to  addressing  the  unemployment  crisis  in  the

occupied  territories, developed  by the  ILO as the  Palestinian Employment
Plan, would  seek to  create the  policy conditions  for sustained  economic
growth, and, in particular, to  strengthen the employment policy formulation
capability of the Ministry  of Labour.  The  approach should work to improve
the small enterprise  environment, providing necessary support and  services
to   improve    productivity   and    income   from   self-employment    and
entrepreneurship.  In addition, expanding the  social safety net for widows,
orphans, the disabled, the sick and  ex-detainees and improving the quality,
relevance,  and labour  market  orientation of  human  resource  development
should   be  a   priority  of  employment  policy.     Improving  employment
opportunities  in  Israel  and  the  region  is  fundamental  to  addressing
unemployment in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

84.   In addition, three strategic  priorities for  project development have
emerged from joint consultations between the  United Nations, donors and the
Palestinian  Authority:   (a)  infrastructure  improvements  should  produce
permanent benefits for  the population  of the Gaza  Strip; (b) the  labour-
intensive  approach  should  not  be  restricted  to  short-term   emergency
projects,  but  should  also  be applied  to  non-emergency  projects  where
feasible  and where  cost-effective and  timely execution  is possible using
labour-intensive methods; and  (c) the identification and prioritization  of
projects  should   be  carried   out  through   consultations  between   the
Palestinian Authority, municipalities, the United Nations and donors.


D.  United Nations assistance to private sector development

85.   UNDP  assistance to  private sector  development has been  designed to
meet  emerging needs  in the  light of  the prevailing  circumstances in the
West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  UNDP  has supported initiatives in the  field
of  management  assistance,  management  and  technical  training,  improved
marketing facilities, credit and capital assistance,  as well as training in
modern  irrigation  techniques   to  help  address  the  diminishing   water
resources  in the  Gaza  Strip  and the  cost  of production.   When  citrus
markets  in  Eastern  Europe  became  inaccessible  to  Palestinian   citrus
produce,  a citrus processing plant project was initiated  in the Gaza Strip
to absorb the overproduction.   The fisheries sector, a staple sector of the
Gaza economy,  was supported by  strengthening the fishermen's  cooperative,
helping  it to build  an ice factory and a  fish market.  Agriculture export
marketing to Europe was bolstered  through the construction of a packing and
grading  factory and  cold storage  facility  at  Beit Lahia  cooperative in
Gaza.

86.  Upon the  reactivation of the Palestinian Chambers of Commerce in  1991
and  realizing  the   importance  of  private  sector  organizations,   UNDP
organized  and  conducted  a  study  tour  of  representatives  of  all  the
Palestinian  Chambers  of  Commerce  to  a   number  of  Arab  and  European
countries.   Business development was  modestly addressed through  provision
of  advisory services,  training,  credit and  strengthening  of  vocational
training centres  in both the West  Bank and Gaza.   As of  the beginning of
1995,  UNDP  began  implementation  of  its  TOKTEN  programme  to  mobilize
Palestinian  diaspora  skills  to  assist  private  sector  development  and
strengthen the supporting institutions that would nurture its growth.

87.   UNRWA established  its income generation  programme in the  Gaza Strip
and the  West Bank in 1991  in the form  of a revolving loan  fund to assist
small  businesses  in  both  formal  and  informal  sectors  of  the economy
producing goods for sale locally  and abroad.  The goal  of the programme is
to create  employment opportunities by promoting  creation and expansion  of
small businesses  primarily in the  manufacturing and the productive sectors
of the economy.   In less than four  years, the fund's capital  base in  the
Gaza Strip  alone  has grown  from  approximately  $300,000 to  $4  million,
supplying credit  to over  170 small  enterprises.   The programme  provides
management  support and  training for  entrepreneurs and,  despite  repeated
shocks to the Gaza  Strip economy, has managed to maintain a high  repayment
rate.  At present, 35 per cent of its Gaza Strip  capital fund of $4 million

is made up of repaid funds.

88.   The United Nations  Conference on Trade  and Development  (UNCTAD) has
published a  number  of economic  studies  and  surveys on  the  Palestinian
economy that have been  used as references for research on the economies  of
the West Bank and the  Gaza Strip.  The UNCTAD secretariat has completed the
first part of an inter-sectoral research  project on prospects for sustained
development of the Palestinian economy, identifying  major problem areas and
the immediate needs of the various economic and social sectors.

89.   The International  Fund for  Agricultural Development  (IFAD) has been
active  in supporting development  work in  the West Bank  for several years
through the  non-governmental organization  American Near  East Refugee  Aid
(ANERA), and,  since 1991,  the International  Trade Centre  (ITC) has  been
exploring  ways to  support agricultural  marketing  of  West Bank  and Gaza
Strip produce.   At  the request  of the  Special Coordinator, ITC  has also
prepared  a   proposal  for   a  technical   cooperation   project  on   the
establishment of industrial zones in Gaza and the West Bank.

90.   The  United  Nations Industrial  Development Organization  (UNIDO) has
long  been  delivering  services  for  the  industrial  development  of  the
occupied territories.  From 1980 to  1993, 15 technical assistance  projects
were  carried out, ranging  from a  survey of the  manufacturing industry in
1986   to   human   resources   development   to   pre-feasibility   project
identification studies  as well  as assistance  to the  chemical industries.
In late  1994, UNIDO developed  a programming strategy  for services to  the
Palestinian people, through  which UNIDO would provide technical  assistance
in the  areas  of private  sector  development,  development of  small-  and
medium-scale  enterprises, human  resources  development for  the industrial
sector,   acquisition   and    application   of   technology   to    enhance
competitiveness and industrial regional cooperation and integration.

91.   In  its January 1994  report, ILO  proposed a  programme of  action to
contribute  to capacity-building for  the labour  and social sectors through
institution-building and training of institutional leadership,  particularly
the Palestinian  Authority's  Ministry  of Labour,  workers'  organizations,
such  as the General  Federation of  Trade Unions both in  Gaza and the West
Bank, employers'  organizations  and the  Chambers  of  Commerce.   ILO  has
already begun efforts  to strengthen the Ministry  of Labour, has an ongoing
project with the Palestine Statistical Bureau  for the preparation of labour
statistics  and  is assisting  the  Chambers  of  Commerce  to review  their
constitutions and establish a computerized enterprise database.

92.  The Food  and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)  and
ESCWA have jointly  undertaken several agricultural sector studies, in  1993
and again  in late  1994, focusing  on the  role of the  public agricultural
institutions.    A  programme  of  action   has  been  recommended  for  the
restructuring,   development    and   strengthening   of   the   Palestinian
agricultural  institutions.  ESCWA  has also  addressed the  need to develop
entrepreneurship  through training  of trainers  and training  of  potential
entrepreneurs.


1.  Main development needs

93.  The Palestinian  Authority, as clearly delineated  in its Programme for
the Development of the Palestinian  National Economy, emphasizes an economic
policy lead by  private sector  growth.   The role of  the public sector  is
seen as  one which should be  defined by policies  to enable private  sector
development   (e.g.   the  establishment   of  predictable   and  guaranteed
regulatory frameworks, public sector development of infrastructure, etc.).

94.   The  private sector  accounts  for  about 85  per cent  of GDP  of the
occupied territories.   The sector is  vulnerable because  of its dependence
on  Israel as  its principal trading partner  (70 per cent of  West Bank and
Gaza Strip trade exports  are to Israel) and  supplier of raw  materials and

many finished products. In addition, one  quarter of the Palestinian  labour
force is dependent  on employment in  Israel.   The repeated closures  have,
therefore,  had a negative  impact on  the private  sector in  Gaza, causing
permanent reductions in  consumer purchasing power and other  manifestations
of recession.   Over  time, the  prohibitive investment  environment in  the
occupied territories has  stunted economic diversification.  Private  sector
investments are  heavily concentrated  in  the construction  sector; 85  per
cent of investments are made in construction, primarily in housing.

95.   There is  no substitute  for a stable political  environment and clear
and  efficient  governance  to  induce  investments  and  increase  economic
activity.     The   Palestinian  Authority   has  inherited   a   fragmented
institutional  framework  that is  ill-equipped  to  prepare  and  implement
development programmes or coordinate and administer the sizeable and  varied
inputs from  donor countries.   The need to  strengthen the new  Palestinian
ministries  and institutions to  assist in  creating an enabling environment
is a great and immediate priority.


2.  Integrated United Nations approach

96.    The  interventions of  the United  Nations  system in  private sector
development  should promote  sustainable  economic development  through  the
support of  local capacities,  while taking  full  account of  the needs  of
women   and  marginalized   groups.     In  partnership   with   Palestinian
counterparts,  the  United  Nations  should  help  to  promote   Palestinian
Authority strategies and  priorities, complement World Bank efforts in  this
sector and operate within a regional development perspective.

97.   The planned approach  of the United  Nations system  to development of
Palestinian  capacities  in   trade  includes  advice  to  the   Palestinian
Authority   on  foreign   trade  strategies   and  the   establishment   and
strengthening of the institutional infrastructure for trade development  and
promotion.   At  the level  of  the  enterprises themselves,  United Nations
agencies plan  to  support  product  and  market  development  for  selected
sectors  (including quality upgrading)  as well  as assistance  to trade and
industry  in  diversifying  their  exports  through  the  establishment   of
effective and efficient  trade support services  (e.g. purchasing and supply
management,  trade  information, quality  management,  costing and  pricing,
support  to  small  and  medium-sized   enterprises,  export-oriented  joint
ventures and  legal  aspects of  foreign  trade).    A number  of  technical
cooperation projects  have been  prepared by  ITC and  UNCTAD, the  agencies
specialized in trade issues.   UNIDO has  expressed an interest in the  area
of product development.

 98.   The  United Nations  system  should  provide technical  assistance in
support of  investment  promotion  through the  creation of  an  appropriate
institutional and  procedural framework for  investment promotion.   ITC and
UNCTAD should contribute substantively to investment promotion and,  through
UNIDO, should  build capacities to plan  and assess industrial  investments.
Advisory and direct consultancy services need  to be developed for potential
investors   in  the   preparation   of  pre-investment   studies   and   the
determination  of an  optimal financing  plan.   There is  also a  need  for
advice and  training in support of  export-oriented joint  ventures, as well
as training  to increase  the managerial  skills of  personnel in  financing
institutions.

99.   Entrepreneurship is an important  area of  private sector development,
as well as  for the generation of  employment.  ESCWA,  UNDP, ILO  and UNRWA
should continue  to implement programmes to assist the Palestinian Authority
to  formulate  and  implement  a  plan of  action  to  develop a  conductive
environment    for    entrepreneurship   and    self-employment,   including
harmonization and  simplification of laws, rules  and practices relating  to
small  business registration, start-up  and operation.  ESCWA has formulated
project  proposals  for   the  establishment  of  business  and   technology
incubators to  nurture new  manufacturing start-ups  and the  creation of  a

National Small Business Council.   ILO is proposing  to revitalize the small
business  sector by  building  capacities for  integrated  small  enterprise
promotion through the Chambers of Commerce.  The  United Nations approach to
the  expanding informal  sector seeks  to increase  the  (low) participation
rate of  women in business start-ups  and assist  the Palestinian Authority,
non-governmental   organizations   and   private   sector  institutions   in
developing  and  implementing  special  financing  and  credit  schemes  for
promoting  entrepreneurship  and  starting  small-scale  businesses.   ESCWA
should expand  its training programmes  to support potential  entrepreneurs,
particularly women and social groups affected by unemployment.

100.    A  priority  of  private  sector  development  is  to  organize  and
strengthen agricultural  public institutions and  address issues to  support
agricultural exports.   The FAO strategy for agricultural development  calls
for  an  action  programme  to  restructure,  develop,  and  strengthen  the
Ministry of Agriculture in the context  of ongoing development activities by
the  non-governmental  organization  community.    ITC  can  provide  direct
consultancy services  in export  marketing of agricultural  produce, with  a
view  to  the expansion  and  diversification  of exports,  by-products  and
markets.    To  overcome  non-tariff  barriers,  UNDP formulated  an  action
programme  for  pesticide  residue  testing  and  control  of   agricultural
produce.

101.    Industrial   development  requires  support  from  the   Palestinian
Authority  to create  a favourable  environment for  industrial  investment.
Institutions should be set  up to help enterprises obtain access to  foreign
markets,  and  industrial support  services  and  infrastructure  should  be
improved,  including (a) industrial strategy and policy advice; (b) advisory
and  institutional  support  services  on  industry-related implications  of
global and regional economic and trade  agreements; (c) establishment of the
unified  base  of statistics  and  data  on  the  manufacturing sector;  (d)
strengthening of the  Chambers of Industry, industry associations and  other
concerned  non-governmental  organizations;  (e)  establishing  a  standards
institution, setting  industrial standards and introducing quality assurance
measures.  Industries of all sizes  require access to up-to-date information
in  a  broad  spectrum  of  areas,  including  technologies,  equipment  and
machinery,  patents,  environmental  protection,  investment  opportunities,
technology  transfer  options,  market  trends  and  export  potentials.  In
particular,  small  and medium-sized  industries  also  require  support  in
entering   into   joint  venture   arrangements   and   technology  transfer
negotiations  and  developing  techniques  of innovation,  productivity  and
quality control  for international competitiveness.   In addition, small and
medium-sized  enterprises require  sectoral  policies, networking  and basic
technical support, while  the capacity for  developing human  resources must
be built  up so  that emerging  industries in  the occupied territories  can
respond effectively to the new industrial development challenges.


E.  United Nations assistance in education

102.  UNDP,  UNESCO, UNICEF and  UNRWA have  all played  important roles  in
assisting the education sector in their specific capacities.

103.    Between  1986  and  1993,  the  education  sector  received  special
attention from UNDP, focusing on building governmental and  non-governmental
schools  in  cities and  in  assisting  some  private  schools at  different
levels.  In 1992,  the programme policy shifted  to focus on  classrooms for
girls  in  rural  areas.    UNDP  policy  at present  is  to  work  in close
cooperation with the Palestinian Authority Ministry  of Education as well as
with    relevant   non-governmental   organizations.   Current   educational
activities   are  focused   mainly  on   provision  or   rehabilitation   of
infrastructures, such as construction of additional classrooms in  villages,
rehabilitation  of two agricultural  school buildings  in the  West Bank and
Gaza Strip, rehabilitation of  a school complex in Jericho and others.  UNDP
is presently implementing a comprehensive study  on the school drop-out rate
for girls and  is planning a  training series  in leadership  skills from  a

gender perspective for women already employed in government positions.

104.   For more than four decades, UNESCO  assistance has included promoting
a Palestinian  cultural identity, providing  senior educational advisers  to
UNRWA,  assisting in the  development of  an open  learning system, granting
fellowships  to Palestinians  studying abroad  and providing  equipment  and
furniture for the education institutions.   Missions have been organized  by
UNESCO,  in coordination  with UNRWA,  the  World  Bank, UNDP,  UNICEF, ILO,
UNIDO  and  WHO,  aimed  at  reviewing   the  situation  of  education   and
identifying the  needs associated  with the  reconstruction and  development
process.   A Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People, including 12
project proposals for  education (basic and secondary education,  management
of  the education system and higher  education) was agreed to in May 1995 by
the Palestinian Authority and UNESCO.   A Plan of Action has been adopted by
the PLO/UNESCO Joint Coordination Committee comprising 26 activities.

105.   UNICEF's programme  of assistance  to Palestinian  women and children
started in the West Bank and Gaza in  1980, focusing on the fields of health
and education.   In 1991, a larger  UNICEF operational presence  resulted in
expanded cooperation in  the fields  of youth activities, out-of-school  and
community-based   education,   primary   education   and   early   childhood
development.   In the  health sector, UNICEF  is focusing on  increasing and
improving the quality of  basic services delivery to  children and women and
on filling critical gaps in what was a  continuous emergency situation.   In
the absence  of a  government counterpart,  support to  educational projects
centred  on UNRWA and  non-governmental organizations.   Since  August 1994,
the  UNICEF Jerusalem  office has  been  upgraded  to undertake  an expanded
programme in the West  Bank and Gaza.   In cooperation with the  Palestinian
Authority, the  Ministry  of  Education, as  well as  with  non-governmental
organizations, the UNICEF  educational programme comprises basic  education,
psychosocial  rehabilitation   of  children   and  youth,   early  childhood
development and non-formal education.

106.  Since 1950,  UNRWA has been  the single largest provider of  education
in  the Gaza Strip,  ensuring free  elementary and  preparatory education to
109,833 refugee children in 159 schools, of which  108 schools operate on  a
double-shift  system,  utilizing a  budget  of  $35.4  million  in 1993  and
employing 3,170 teachers.   In the West Bank,  UNRWA is responsible for  the
technical  and  administrative  supervision of  elementary  and  preparatory
education, comprising a total of 100  schools.  The Agency has  had to build
and/or  rent  more  schools  and  classrooms  and  employ  more  teachers to
accommodate  the natural  increase in  the  school  population.   UNRWA also
provides vocational training courses  to Palestinian refugees with skills in
industrial  areas,  trades, crafts  or  occupations  (designing,  producing,
assembling,  servicing or  repairing  of manufactured  products).    UNRWA's
training  centres  play an  important role  in  preparing young  Palestinian
refugee boys and girls for employment opportunities.


1.  Main development needs

107.  The Palestinian  Authority took charge of the educational system on 28
August 1994  for the  first time  after  27 years  of occupation.   For  the
Palestinians, in general, and for the  Ministry of Education, in particular,
this  transfer  of  authority  represented  a  real  challenge  to  work  on
upgrading  the  educational  system  and raising  its  standards  to provide
Palestinians  with   better  conditions  of   living,  meet   the  needs  of
Palestinian society and to  be able to  interact and compete with the  world
community.

108.  In the past 27 years,  higher education institutions in the  West Bank
and Gaza Strip were established independently  and have continued to operate
during the  occupation, under  the coordination  of the  Council for  Higher
Education. There  are now 8 universities, all private, with  an enrolment of
29,508 students  in 1994-1995, and 21  community colleges  (5 government, 12
private and  4  UNRWA), with  7,500 students.   Though  higher education  is

comparatively well-developed  in quantitative  terms, its  major concern  is
that  of  academic  quality  and  difficulties  arising from  the  temporary
closure  of  universities  by  military  order  during  the  period  of  the
intifadah.

109.  In basic (grades 1-10) and secondary  education, the situation is more
complex.   Since  1948,  the  West Bank  and  the Gaza  Strip have  followed
different educational systems - the Jordanian system  for the West Bank  and
the Egyptian system  for the Gaza  Strip.   Education has  been provided  in
three ways  during  the occupation  -  public  schools administered  by  the
Israeli authorities,  UNRWA schools and private  schools.   The total number
of public  schools, UNRWA and  private schools is  1,433.   During the 1994-
1995  school-year, 238,000  students were  enrolled  in  the Gaza  Strip and
345,000  in the  West  Bank (not  including  private  schools).   The  gross
enrolment  rates in 1994 were the following:  70 to  85 per cent for primary
schools, 45  to 65 per cent  for preparatory schools and  25 to 35 per  cent
for secondary schools.  Girls account for 48  per cent of total enrolment of
primary  education and  44 per  cent  of secondary  level.   Recent research
shows  comparatively low  achievement levels in school  education, which can
be explained by the disruption of the school system during the last  decade,
the closing  of educational institutions for  long periods,  the shortage of
funds and equipment and the lack of maintenance of school facilities.

110.   Pre-school education is usually  supported by the  private sector and
by non-governmental organizations.  With the  limited funds available to the
education sector,  it should  continue to  be supported  privately, and  the
Ministry of Education could play a supervisory role.

111.    Non-formal   education  programmes  (adult  education/literacy)  are
usually  carried out and  supported by a  variety of  social and educational
institutions as well as by non-governmental  organizations.  The Ministry of
Education does not  provide financial support for non-formal education,  but
it plans to supervise  the quality of teachers  and of teaching  in literacy
programmes, to support literacy  centres and continuing  education units and
to provide the legal framework for  the integration of formal and non-formal
education programmes. More integration and linkages between formal and  non-
formal education  should  be encouraged  to  sustain  education as  a  field
covering a full range of learning needs of children, youth and adults.

112.   The  Ministry  of  Education is  in  need of  external assistance  to
develop the educational system because of a  lack of financial resources and
technical expertise.    Development projects  are currently  planned by  the
Ministry  of Education  in  order to  raise  the quality  of  education  and
introduce a  unified educational system, to  develop the  skills required in
the modern  world, to  train high-level  technicians and  scientists and  to
launch  inter-university cooperation  programmes.  Emphasis is  also laid on
the integration  of young people  and adults whose  studies or  careers were
interrupted because  of the  emergency situation and  on the  need to  offer
them opportunities for work through training programmes.

113.   On  several occasions,  the  Ministry of  Education has  stressed the
necessity and  the  importance for  the  donor  community to  harmonize  the
project proposals  with the  following priorities:    (a) supporting  school
rehabilitation and reconstruction; (b) providing schools with equipment  and
educational material; (c) supporting teacher training; (d) establishing  and
supporting a  curriculum development  centre; (e)  developing the  community
colleges; (f) supporting the planning  and information system; (g) improving
qualitative development of  higher education institutions and research;  (h)
developing the  capacity of the Ministry  of Education;  (i) supporting non-
formal education and special education.

114.    Within  the  objective  of  sustaining  universal  access  to  basic
education and  developing secondary  and higher education,  the Ministry  of
Education  emphasized the  importance of  fostering education for  girls and
women.

2.  Integrated United Nations approach

115.   The  United  Nations  approach  is  to  build  local  capacities  for
implementation  of  policies  and   programmes  in  line   with  the   World
Declaration  on Education For  All and the United  Nations Convention on the
Rights of the Child, stipulating that by the  year 2000 all children  should
have access to  primary education and at  least 80 per  cent of  them should
achieve  a  basic minimum  level  of  primary  education.   Early  childhood
activities should be expanded and adult  illiteracy rates should be  halved,
with a  particular  focus on  reducing  gender  disparity, focusing  on  the
education  of  girls  and  women.    Support  for  capacity-building  of the
Palestinian Authority institutions has become a  priority for UNICEF and the
formulation of a national programme of  action has become an  immediate goal
to  ensure political  and social  mobilization  and long-term  planning  for
children.

116.   Based  on consultations  with the  Ministry of Education,  the United
Nations inter-agency meeting, held  in Gaza on 15  and 16 June  1995, agreed
upon  principles to guide  the United  Nations strategy  for education which
included: (a) United  Nations compliance with  the strategies and priorities
established  by  the Ministry  of  Education;  (b) cooperation  among United
Nations sister  agencies,  in close  coordination  with  the Office  of  the
Special   Coordinator,  the   donor  community   and  the   non-governmental
organizations; (c)  consultation with United  Nations agencies to  emphasize
complementarity of programmes; (d)  sharing of expertise  and experiences of
the United Nations agencies and the  Palestinian Authority; (e)  coordinated
fund-raising efforts.

117.  In  light of the needs identified  above, United Nations agencies  and
programmes, in cooperation  with the  Ministry of  Education, have  targeted
the following areas of assistance:   the planning, monitoring and management
capacities  of   the  Ministry  of  Education   need  to  be   strengthened,
particularly  in the  areas of  assessment  of  teaching and  learning, data
collection and analysis,  policy planning, budgeting and financial  analysis
and training and supervision of administrative and professional staff.

118.    Educational infrastructures  require upgrading  and expansion.   The
lack of  investment during the occupation  and rapid  population growth have
left the  educational infrastructure overburdened  (double or triple  shifts
and  shortage of facilities).   Most schools, whether  belonging to UNRWA or
the Palestinian Authority, are overcrowded, with the average classroom  size
currently  exceeding  50 pupils.    Decreasing  the  average  class size  is
necessary  to improve both  access and  quality.   Additional classrooms and
schools are  required for  the growing student  population.  In  addition to
selecting schools  to be  upgraded  or built,  the issue  of equity  between
regions and  genders should  be assessed,  with studies  on selected  policy
matters,  such   as  reducing  imbalances   for  disadvantaged  groups   and
increasing  internal efficiency, in  order to  enable policy  makers to make
decisions based on in-depth analyses of  local conditions and on comparative
analysis of countries facing similar problems.

119.   Palestinian  children and  youth lack  a  safe and  enriching out-of-
school environment  to promote  their psychological  well-being and  growth.
Early  childhood  development  and  the  social,  emotional  and   cognitive
development needs  of young children should  be accorded  more resources and
should be addressed  more systematically.   In addition, informal  education
programmes, such as literacy and  adult education programmes  and community-
based education activities (integration  of "life skills"  learning, use  of
play, arts, recreational activities) need to be supported.

120.   Higher education,  vocational and  technical education  should be re-
examined  and the  linkage of  higher  education  institutions with  the new
economic  and  social  needs  and  the  community  should  be  analysed  and
strengthened.  Teaching and learning quality  should be advanced through the
establishment  of  a  curriculum  development unit,  which  would  provide a
unified  standard  of education  for  both  Palestinian Authority  and UNRWA

schools in  the West  Bank  and Gaza,  based on  improved content,  teaching
methods, student achievements and attitudes.

121.  Close relations  have been established  by UNRWA with the Ministry  of
Education in the field of in-service  training for teachers and  maintenance
of  government   schools,  providing  the   Ministry  of  Education  with  a
supporting  and advisory role.   In  close cooperation  with the Palestinian
Authority,  UNRWA is  planning an  assessment  of  teaching standards  and a
project  proposal  for  the  upgrading  of  teachers'  qualifications.    An
evaluation of educational facilities will also  be undertaken to improve the
quality of accommodation.

122.    ITC  is  interested  in  supporting  training  activities  for human
resources development.   Within  the framework  of a  project for  capacity-
building  for social  development, ILO  is currently  supporting  vocational
education  and training  activities.    The United  Nations Population  Fund
(UNFPA) has expressed  the interest and availability to support the field of
health and  population education, targeting in  particular girls and  women.
No  projects  are currently  implemented by  the United  Nations Development
Fund for Women  (UNIFEM), but work is in  progress to analyse the  situation
and to  identify areas  of collaboration  with other  agencies (analysis  of
gender gaps  to  promote equity  of  education).  UNITAR has  expressed  its
willingness to build  and strengthen human capacities with training  courses
and packages for higher education, for a planned  amount of $700,000 for the
next two years.

123.  The role of WHO  in the education sector is  through health education,
human  resources development  and training  of medical staff  (mental health
centre  in  Gaza,  mother/child  health education),  in  particular  for new
specialities and for supporting medical schools.


F.  United Nations assistance in health

124.  United Nations organizations have played an active role in the  health
sector.  UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNRWA and WHO  have all been actively  engaged
in  discussions  with  the  Palestinian  Council  of  Health  prior  to  the
redeployment in  May 1994  and later  with the  Ministry of  Health.   These
agencies  assisted  in developing  health  sector  plans that  incorporate a
national approach  to planning in  the health  sector, while taking  note of
the Interim Action Plan which was presented by the Ministry of Health.

125.    UNDP  is  contributing  to  the  health  sector  by  supporting  and
facilitating the  work of the Palestinian Coalition for Women's Health.  The
Coalition  is working on  policy formulation  at the grassroots  level.  The
Coalition has prepared a Palestinian Policy  on Women's Health, is  training
health  care providers  and  has launched  wide-scale  awareness  campaigns.
Through its Rural Development Project, UNDP  is also supporting the training
of  women health workers and is financing two community-based clinics in two
northern villages.

126.  In  addition, UNDP  has been  actively involved  in the  environmental
health  sector,  addressing  such  issues  as  construction  rehabilitation,
upgrading and maintenance of water supply schemes in rural and urban  areas,
sewage  collection systems,  training of  municipal staff,  water  resources
management and public awareness campaigns.

127.   UNFPA  has been  requested  by the  Ministry of  Health to  develop a
reproductive  health  care  programme at  the  primary  health  care  level,
including information activities, in accordance with the recommendations  of
the International Conference on Population and  Development held at Cairo in
September 1994.

128.    UNICEF's programme  components  in  the  health  sector include  the
Expanded  Programme of  Immunization  and the  Control of  Acute Respiratory
Infections  and  Control of  Diarrhoeal  Diseases  programmes.   In tackling

nutritional  issues,  UNICEF  has  initiated  the  Baby  Friendly   Hospital
Initiative.  UNICEF  is also involved in projects  in the areas of  maternal
health, health services management, psychosocial health and early  childhood
development.

129.   In line with the World Summit for Children goals for children and the
United Nations Convention on the  Rights of the Child,  UNICEF has developed
a programme  of  assistance which  targets  the  development of  policy  and
protocols in the health sector and  supports the management, human resources
development, monitoring  and evaluation  of projects.   Accordingly,  UNICEF
has  initiated and supported  the development  of the  National Programme of
Action for Children. UNICEF is currently  supporting the establishment of  a
permanent Health Services Management Unit.

130.   UNRWA has  had a long  involvement in the  health sector  in the Gaza
Strip,  where  it provides  75 per  cent  of primary  health care  services.
UNRWA's  65  doctors, 149  nurses  and  35  paramedics,  among other  health
professionals, in Gaza operate out of  nine general service health  centres,
six of these  on double  shift.   There are an  additional seven mother  and
child  health clinics,  as well  as dental  and specialist  clinics.   UNRWA
subsidizes 50  out of the 85  beds in  the Ahli Arab Hospital  in Gaza City.
In 1993,  UNRWA began construction of  the Gaza Hospital, a 230-bed facility
near Khan  Younis.  The Hospital  is nearing completion  and will serve  the
southern Gaza  Strip.   The acquisition  and  expansion by  UNRWA of  Gaza's
principal nursing  college will contribute to  the staffing  of the hospital
now under construction.

131.    UNRWA's  health  services provide  primary  health care  as  well as
hospital service  at the secondary and  tertiary levels.   Hospital services
are  provided at UNRWA's  hospital in Qalqilya  town and  at other hospitals
through  subsidies (for example,  UNRWA subsidizes  118 beds  at the Augusta
Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem and over 50 beds at a number of  institutions
throughout the West Bank).

 132.   Under the first phase  of its Peace  Implementation Programme, UNRWA
has  received funding  for  environmental health  projects  (e.g.  upgrading
solid waste and sewerage/drainage  in the West Bank and Gaza Strip), as well
as  the construction  and rehabilitation  of laboratories,  clinics,  health
centres and other  health institutions.  Funding  has also been received for
health  education  campaigns,  training  programmes  and  medical  supplies.
Under  the second  phase, further  environmental and  other health  projects
have been identified and designed and are ready for implementation.

133.    WHO assistance  has  focused  on  institutional  development of  the
Palestine  Council  of  Health  and  the  Ministry  of Health  to  meet  the
immediate health needs of Palestinians within  the framework of the National
Health Plan.    WHO's objectives  are  to  develop effective  and  efficient
management capacities in  the National  Health Authority  to upgrade  health
care  services and  ensure the continuity  of health care  provision; and to
formulate a detailed five-year implementation plan.

134.  Other agencies  and programmes active in the health sector include the
International Atomic Energy  Agency (IAEA), which  has prepared  a technical
assistance programme  aimed at upgrading skills  for application of  nuclear
science and  technologies in  the health sector.   The World  Food Programme
(WFP) has been active  in providing emergency food assistance as recently as
March 1995, when WFP  provided food support to  7,150 of the  most destitute
families in the Gaza Strip.


1.  Main development needs

135.  A Palestinian  National Health Plan, drawn  up by the  National Health
Plan Commission, targets three strategic orientations:  disease  prevention,
health promotion  and health  protection.   The Plan  sets out  a number  of
specific  areas of concern,  such as  coordinating and  developing an action

plan  for  all  health  providers (the  Palestinian  Authority,  UNRWA,  the
private  sector   and  non-governmental   organizations);  reducing   health
disparities by  region and social group;  increasing access  to services for
all;  encouraging cost  effectiveness in  health care  delivery;  developing
health service standards  and criteria of professionalism; and  establishing
a comprehensive health insurance system.


2.  Integrated United Nations approach

136.   The United  Nations approach  to the  health sector  is based on  the
mandates  of  United Nations  organizations  active  in  the  sector and  on
support  to  the Palestinian  National  Health  Plan.    The United  Nations
approach includes technical  assistance for health programmes and  projects;
support to health institutions; strengthening coordination of activities  of
the United  Nations, non-governmental  organizations and  other agencies  in
order  to  avoid duplication;  formulation  of  national  and  institutional
policies and  strategies; development of a  universal base  of health sector
data  required  for health  planning;  strengthening  national  capacity  to
manage health  services;  and  formulation of  policies and  strategies  for
human resources development.
  137.   The United  Nations system  should provide  technical assistance in
the areas  of national  health planning,  education and  training of  health
staff, rehabilitation of health  facilities, implementation of environmental
health  projects, acquisition of  equipment and  medical supplies needed for
specific projects  and regional  integration in  health sector  development.
In  addition,   the  Ministry  of  Health   will  require   support  in  the
establishment  and/or  strengthening   of  training  institutions  and   the
development of  course curricula for training  of trainers  in technical and
management aspects  of health  service provision.   The  Ministry of  Health
will  also  require  United  Nations  assistance  in  the  transfer  of  new
technologies  and the  introduction of  information management  systems,  as
well as  the establishment  of standards, preparation of  health legislation
and introduction of quality control measures.

ANNEX

United Nations departments, programmes and agencies active
in the occupied territories


Centre for Human Rights
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch
Department for Development Support and Management Services
Economic and Social Council for Western Asia (ESCWA)
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
International Labour Organization (ILO)
International Maritime Organization (IMO)
International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
International Trade Centre UNCTAD/GATT (ITC)
Office of the United Nations Coordinator in the Occupied Territories
United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat)
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP)
United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
United Nations  Relief and Works  Agency for Palestine Refugees  in the Near

East (UNRWA)
United Nations Volunteers (UNV)
Universal Postal Union (UPU)
World Food Programme (WFP)
World Health Organization (WHO)


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Date last posted: 18 December 1999 16:30:10
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