United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

21 June 1996



Fifty-first session                           Substantive session of 1996
Item 21 (e) of the preliminary list *         Item 5 (c) of the provisional
                                                COLONIAL COUNTRIES AND
* A/51/50                                       PEOPLES BY THE
                                                SPECIALIZED AGENCIES
                                                AND THE INTERNATIONAL
                                                ASSOCIATED WITH THE
                                                UNITED NATIONS

                                                ** E/1996/100

                     Assistance to the Palestinian people

                        Report of the Secretary-General


                                                              Paragraphs  Page

 I.   INTRODUCTION .........................................     1 - 12     3

      ASSISTANCE ...........................................    13 - 186    6

      A. United Nations assistance in education ...........     13 - 39     6

      B. United Nations assistance in employment generation     40 - 56    11

      C. United Nations assistance in health ..............     57 - 81    16

      D. United Nations assistance in infrastructure ......     82 - 115   22

      E. United Nations assistance in institution-building     116 - 159   28

      F. United Nations assistance to private sector
         development ......................................    160 - 186   37

                               I.  INTRODUCTION

1.   On 20 December 1995, the General Assembly adopted resolution
50/58 H 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 Strip, 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.   Terje Rūd-Larsen continued his functions as United Nations Special
Coordinator in the Occupied Territories as outlined in the previous
report on assistance to the Palestinian people (A/50/286-E/1995/113). 
The present report covers the period from June 1995 through May 1996. 

3.   Throughout the period under review, the Special Coordinator
focused his efforts on:

     (a) Supporting ongoing and proposed activities of the over 20
United Nations agencies and programmes operational or seeking to
become operational in the West Bank and Gaza Strip within the
framework of the integrated and targeted programme adopted at the June
1995 United Nations inter-agency meeting convened by the Special
Coordinator in Gaza;   

     (b) Strengthening the coordination structures on the ground
linking the Palestinian Authority, the Government of Israel, the
international donor community, and the International Monetary Fund,
the World Bank and the United Nations, as well as the role of the
United Nations within those structures;  

     (c) Working with all parties in the development effort, and in
particular the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Israel, to
help maintain its momentum, especially during periods of crisis. 

4.   Following the June 1995 inter-agency meeting, sectoral strategies
covering education, health, employment generation, infrastructure and
housing, institution-building and the private sector were finalized. 
They articulated a coordinated, integrated and targeted approach to
the main developmental priorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as
identified by the Palestinian Authority.  Each of the six strategies
included proposals from United Nations agencies and programmes for
specific technical and project assistance for  implementation
beginning in late 1995 and 1996.  The total package of proposals
amounted to projects worth approximately $550 million.  The proposed
programme of assistance contained in the United Nations strategy
papers was developed in coordination with the relevant sectoral
ministries of the Palestinian Authority, as well as with the
Palestinian Authority Ministry for Planning and International
Cooperation.  In addition, representatives from the Palestinian
Authority, donor countries and the World Bank participated in the
United Nations inter-agency meeting at which the strategy papers had
been reviewed in draft form.

5.   The United Nations proposed programme of assistance for 1996 was
formally presented to the donor community by the Special Coordinator
at the ministerial-level meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, the
main donor-led body overseeing the assistance effort, held on
28 September 1995.  The meeting was convened on the occasion of the
signing of the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
in Washington, D.C.  At the meeting, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee
stressed the imperative to respond quickly to the major achievement in
the political arena represented by the Interim Agreement by
intensifying efforts in the economic arena.  It was decided to hold a
ministerial conference of donor countries as soon as possible, and
that this conference would be preceded by a World Bank-led
Consultative Group meeting to be convened on 18 and 19 October 1995 in

6.   Continuing the close cooperation of the past year, the United
Nations and the World Bank jointly prepared a policy document for
consideration by donors at the October 1996 Consultative Group
meeting.  Entitled "Putting peace to work: priorities and strategies
for the second phase of the development effort in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip", the document was prepared in close coordination with the
Palestinian Authority, in consultation with the Government of Israel
and following discussions with key donors.  For its part, the
Palestinian Authority established a "core list" of technical and
infrastructural assistance projects, drawing from proposed United
Nations, World Bank and bilateral activities.  The core list required
approximately $550 million in donor funds, of which 27 projects valued
at approximately $100 million were for implementation by agencies and
programmes of the United Nations.  The main elements of the joint
United Nations/World Bank policy document were discussed during the
Consultative Group meeting and were widely reflected in the Chair's

7.   The Ministerial Conference on Economic Assistance to the
Palestinian People was held on 9 January 1996 in Paris.  Conference
participants emphasized, inter alia, the importance of improving the
economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people through a
comprehensive effort to create jobs, improve physical and social
infrastructure and establish the basis for sustainable economic growth
in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  In this connection, the Palestinian
Authority's "core list" of development activities for 1996, as well as
other activities proposed by the Palestinian Authority, the World Bank
and the United Nations were considered by donors.  At the Conference
itself and over the following weeks, approximately $805 million was
pledged by donors for investment projects and an additional $72.5
million was pledged towards the 1996 Palestinian Authority recurrent
budget deficit projected at $75 million.  

8.   According to information provided by United Nations organizations
to the Office of the Special Coordinator, agencies and programmes of
the Organization received approximately $105 million in donor funding
between July 1995 and June 1996 for technical and infrastructural
project assistance for the benefit of the Palestinian Authority and
the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  Of the United
Nations projects contained in the Palestinian Authority core list, 19
received approximately $59 million in donor funding.  These figures do
not include funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) regular programmes of
education, health and relief and social services, which would amount
to approximately $150 million for the West Bank and Gaza Strip in
1996; nor do they  reflect the decision of the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) to double the funding from its own "core
resources" for the period 1996-1998, to a minimum of $8 million.  By
mid-1996, many donors had yet to commit their 1996 pledges to specific
projects.  It was therefore anticipated that further funding would be
received by United Nations organizations during the second half of the

9.   The development effort suffered a severe setback beginning on
25 February 1996 when a series of suicide terrorist attacks, which
killed nearly 60 persons, prompted the Government of Israel to
implement a series of countermeasures, including the closure of the
occupied territories.  The closure order prevented the movement of
persons and goods into or out of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. 
For the Palestinian economy and for the fiscal position of the
Palestinian Authority, the closure had devastating consequences. 
Domestic unemployment rose sharply as businesses were unable to
maintain their access to external markets either for the purpose of
importing or for exporting.  In addition, the estimated 70,000
Palestinians who had worked in Israel during February 1996 were unable
to enter Israel owing to the closure order.  The decline in economic
activity in the territories and of employment in Israel led to a sharp
reduction in Palestinian Authority revenues.  By mid-April 1996, with
the closure still in place, the 1996 recurrent budget deficit was
estimated to have increased by some $100 million above the $75 million
projected in late 1995.

10.  In response to the closure of the territories, the Special
Coordinator proposed a framework for a plan aimed at an easing of the
closure and the establishment of a donor-funded emergency employment
creation programme.  The United States announced on 28 March 1996 that
the Palestinian Authority, the Government of Israel and the Government
of Norway, representing the donor community, had agreed to the
framework that had been put forward by the United Nations.  Over the
following weeks, steady increases were recorded in the movement of
goods into and out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  The overall
volume of trade, however, remained below the pre-closure level.  The
number of Palestinian workers employed in Israel was approximately
10,000 at the end of May 1996.

11.  The United Nations responded rapidly to the call of the
Palestinian Authority for assistance in creating employment
opportunities.  With special earmarked contributions from several
donor countries, both UNRWA and UNDP began implementation of projects
in mid-March that were expected to provide up to 5,000 employment
opportunities during 1996.  The UNDP projects were implemented jointly
with the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and
Reconstruction (PECDAR). 

12.  From 15 to 17 April 1996, the Special Coordinator convened the
third United Nations inter-agency meeting in Gaza.  The main purpose
of the meeting, which was attended by over 20 agencies and programmes
of the Organization, was to establish priorities for the United
Nations programmes of assistance during 1997.  These priorities,
accompanied by project proposals for addressing unmet needs, will be
presented in the form of six documents covering education, health,
employment generation, infrastructure and housing, institution-
building and the private sector.  United Nations organizations
developed their proposed 1997 programmes in response to needs and
priorities identified by the Palestinian Authority, whose sectoral
ministries participated in the inter-agency meeting.  Donors and World
Bank officials also participated in the sectoral workshops of the
meeting.  The United Nations documents will be presented to donors at
the next World Bank-led Consultative Group meeting, which is expected
to take place during the second half of 1996. 


                  A.  United Nations assistance in education

                                1.  Background

13.  Education is the largest service sector run by the Palestinian
Authority and caters to the social, educational and employment needs
of more than 35 per cent of the population.  The number of people
employed or enrolled in the various educational institutions in the
West Bank and Gaza, is estimated by the Ministry of Education and
Higher Education to be 719,233.  The Ministry was established in
August 1994 and employs more than 22,000 people.  The total estimated
cost of the educational system is $180 million annually (excluding
higher education).  In total, $130 million is needed for salaries and
$50 million for administration, including $5 million for textbooks.

14.  In 1994/95, there were more than 1,474 schools in the West Bank
and Gaza: 1,084 Palestinian Authority schools, 259 schools run by
UNRWA and 131 private schools.  There are 21 community colleges, of
which 4 are run by UNRWA, and 8 universities.  Pre-school education is
sustained by the private sector and by non-governmental organizations,
supported by the Ministry of Social Affairs.  The Ministry of
Education and Higher Education does not provide financial support for
non-formal education, but plans to supervise the quality of teachers
and literacy programmes and support literacy centres and continuing
education units. 

15.  In spite of the many problems facing the sector, the Ministry of
Education and Higher Education made few administrative and educational
changes during its first year of operation, in order to avoid
unnecessary disruption.  Steps were taken to unify the West Bank and
Gaza Strip educational systems into a uniform curriculum.  A major
achievement was the organizing of the secondary school matriculation
exam.  Other achievements of the Ministry during its first year of
operation, included constructing and rehabilitating schools, setting
up the Palestinian Curriculum Development Centre, printing textbooks
for the 1995/96 school year, and introducing English into the fifth
and sixth grades in the Gaza Strip.  The Ministry declared 1996 to be
the "Year for Quality of Education", with the aim of raising teachers'

                            2.  Assistance provided

16.  Within the United Nations system, UNRWA, UNDP, the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) have played an important role
in assisting the education sector.  Other United Nations agencies
provide technical and financial assistance for training and

17.  UNDP has focused on improving infrastructural facilities through
the construction and renovation of schools and classrooms and on
increasing access for girls to educational opportunities.  Based on
the priorities of the Ministry of Education, UNDP launched  several
infrastructural projects in 1995 and 1996, including the
rehabilitation of a school and cultural complex in the city of
Jericho, 18 schools in rural West Bank communities and the premises of
the Ministry of Education in Ramallah.  Support was also provided for
renovation works in 19 educational facilities in the Gaza Strip. 
Three youth centres were renovated and sports facilities provided in
Jericho, Gaza and Rafah under an umbrella project jointly implemented
by UNDP, UNICEF and UNRWA.  In February 1996, UNDP launched a project
aimed at defining the extent of the school dropout phenomenon and its
geographical and gender distribution.  The study will make policy
recommendations to the Ministry of Education and will introduce
remedial programmes, especially for female dropouts.  UNDP has also
provided support for in-service training and curriculum development in
agricultural training schools.

18.  UNESCO has a long tradition of involvement in Palestinian
education, through support for the education programme of the
Palestine Liberation Organization and for the UNESCO/UNRWA Department
of Education.  In 1994, UNESCO launched a comprehensive Culture of
Peace Programme to give greater emphasis to countries and territories
in conflict.  Within this context, UNESCO carried out two missions to
review the Palestinian education sector in 1994.  The missions
identified and extended assistance to 11 priority areas.  Those for
which funds were mobilized and projects initiated included capacity-
building of the Ministry of Education; establishment of the
Palestinian Curriculum Centre; rehabilitation of 14 schools in the
Gaza Strip and 3 schools in the West Bank; the establishment of a
model kindergarten in Gaza City; financing of an international
workshop for the development of the vocational/technical education
system; a project for capacity-building in educational policy
formulation and management; and a proposal to establish, through the
Palestinian European Academic Cooperation in Education (PEACE)
programme network, UNESCO Chairs in Archaeology, Foreign Language
Teaching and Marine Sciences. 

19.  The objectives and strategies of the UNICEF education programme
are based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the goals of
the World Summit for Children and the National Programme of Action,
which advocate the right of all children to basic education.  To meet
these objectives, UNICEF's Education Programme is implemented through
three main projects focusing on formal and non-formal education: 
early childhood development/psychosocial health; primary education;
and youth and community development.  Under the last category, in
1995, 110 community-based camps for children and youth were organized
and 700 youth leaders trained in planning educational, recreational,
art and environmental activities for children. 

20.  Since 1950, UNRWA has been the single largest provider of
education in the Gaza Strip and a major provider in the West Bank. 
The overall objective of the UNRWA education programme is to continue
to provide general education, in-service teachers' education,
vocational, technical and higher education, and university
scholarships for refugees.  The UNRWA regular educational budget for
1995 was $41.6 million for Gaza and $24.9 million for the West Bank. 
Following the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim
Self-Government Arrangements in September 1993, UNRWA established its
Peace Implementation Programme (PIP).  The programme targeted basic
infrastructural projects in education, health and the social sector. 
Under PIP, UNRWA received $51.7 million in donor funding for
education-related projects and concentrated its efforts on upgrading
its facilities. 

21.  UNRWA has completed the construction of 25 new schools in the Gaza
Strip and is in the process of constructing 7 new schools in the West
Bank.  Over 100 UNRWA and Palestinian Authority schools were upgraded,
and funding has been allocated for the construction of over 75 new
classrooms and specialized rooms.  UNRWA ensures that all its
activities are closely coordinated with the Ministry of Education and
has undertaken the construction of over 55 playgrounds in its own
facilities and Palestinian Authority schools.  The UNRWA University
Scholarship Schemes benefit students who receive high marks in their
secondary school examinations, and UNRWA has initiated a pilot project
to train music teachers in its schools in the West Bank.  Other
projects include construction activities at the Gaza Training Centre
and a number of projects to upgrade and extend the Kalandia and
Ramallah vocational training centres in the West Bank.

22.  The International Labour Organization (ILO) fielded several
technical missions to examine the needs of the vocational training
sector, with particular reference to workers' education programmes and
training activities for Ministry of Labour officials.  ILO, through
the International Training Centre in Turin, is also assisting the
Ministry of Education in a programme for the development of technical

23.  In the area of education, the World Food Programme (WFP) supports
vocational training by providing meals to women and youth trainees. 
In 1996, WFP is assisting nine social institutions by providing daily
food rations to 850 youths.  Additional assistance is being provided
to 100 trainees at two rehabilitation centres for the mentally and
physically disabled.  Such food assistance provides indirect income
support and encourages regular attendance.

                          3.  Main development needs

24.  The task of restructuring and developing the educational system
inherited by the Palestinian Authority is enormous.  The
infrastructure had deteriorated and facilities had failed to keep pace
with population growth, leading to double and sometimes triple
shifting in most schools.  The curriculum differed between the West
Bank and Gaza Strip, and vocational training and extracurricular
activities were inadequate.  Academic standards were particularly
affected as a result of the severe interruptions during the years of
the intifadah and Israeli countermeasures.  Following the transfer of
responsibility for education to the Palestinian Authority in 1994, new
challenges arose from the continued rapid increase in the school
population and the need to accommodate the children of returnees. 
Statistics indicate that 40 new schools are needed annually to
accommodate the growth rate.

25.  In its second year of operation, the Ministry of Education
believes that it can expand its efforts to effect quality changes in
the educational system.  In order to meet the challenges of the
twenty-first century, the Ministry has stressed the importance of
United Nations agencies and the donor community integrating the
following objectives into their policies:  improving access to
schooling; improving the quality of teaching and learning; and
increasing the relevance of education to society's needs. 

26.  To achieve these global objectives, a National Plan of Action has
been prepared by the Ministry of Education, and a number of priorities
have been defined as requiring urgent attention and financial and
technical assistance.  To accommodate the increase in student numbers,
a detailed proposal for funding has been prepared at an estimated cost
of $230 million, covering both school construction and maintenance,
but excluding UNRWA schools and the private sector.  School equipment
and supplies will come to an estimated $5 million over the next two
years.  To encourage management decentralization, community
participation in decision-making and a merit-based recruitment system,
the Ministry is in the process of setting up a policy formulation unit
supported by UNDP, UNESCO and the World Bank. 

27.  To prepare for a unified curriculum, additions to the present
Jordanian and Egyptian curricula, followed in the West Bank and Gaza
Strip respectively, have been introduced in areas such as Arabic,
history and civic education, to overcome the lack of Palestinian
specificity.  A Curriculum Development Centre was established with the
assistance of UNESCO, but it is estimated that the Centre will need
five years to produce a new generation of textbooks, at a cost of
about $5 million.  Pre-service and in-service teacher training will be
undertaken to prepare teachers for the new curriculum. 

28.  New technical colleges are required and schools need to be
rehabilitated and upgraded with modern equipment and laboratories. 
The development of an Educational Management of Information System
(EMIS) is a prerequisite for  medium- and long-term planning and
policy formulation, and is being established with the assistance of
UNICEF.  The imbalance between enrolment in universities and technical
and community colleges needs to be addressed and the linkage between
higher education and economic and social needs should be strengthened.

29.  The social, emotional and cognitive development needs of young
children need to be accorded greater resources and addressed more
systematically.  Only  an estimated 20 to 30 per cent of children aged
3 to 5 attend kindergarten, and unified standards of supervision are
lacking.  In non-formal education, priority areas for action
identified by the Ministry of Youth and Sports aim at supporting
training programmes to develop young people's life skills and promote
their involvement in community development.

                    4.  Integrated United Nations approach 

30.  The peace process has expanded the possibilities for closer
cooperation between the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority
in the development and delivery of educational services.  Major
achievements so far have been the promotion of qualitative educational
development and building institutional capacity in the Ministry of
Education.  However, in an effort to move away from emergency
interventions towards long-term institution-building, all Palestinian
Authority bodies concerned with educational development are in need of
further United Nations assistance.  Although the peace process is
expected to improve economic development in the area, current sources
of revenue to finance basic services are still insufficient.  Since
education accounts for the greatest share of the Palestinian Authority
budget, it is particularly vulnerable to financial shortfalls. 

31.  The overall challenge for the United Nations is to shape a
coherent programme, a set of complementary interventions, leading to
the improvement and growth of the educational system.  Defining
complementary roles among United Nations organizations is a priority,
so as to ensure that the Palestinian Authority receives the maximum
external assistance.  Pilot projects undertaken with the support of
United Nations bodies and non-governmental organizations should be
evaluated so that achievements can be applied on a larger scale and on
a long-term sustainable basis.  United Nations agencies should
coordinate among ministries, non-governmental organizations and
academic institutions to ensure maximum intersectoral cooperation. 
Above all, the United Nations programme should be integrated within
the framework of the five-year master plan for education, currently
being prepared by the Ministry of Education.
32.  Through participation in the Local Aid Coordination Committee
sectoral working group on education, UNDP will continue to act upon
the priorities set by the Ministry of Education.  The ongoing project
for rehabilitating 18 schools in  rural areas of the West Bank will be
considerably expanded to include the construction or renovation of
additional classrooms, especially targeting the female rural

33.  Other UNDP educational initiatives are based on its overall Gender
in Development Programme, where a two-fold approach has been
developed:  (a) upstream interventions aimed at enhancing advocacy
through a series of policy-level initiatives in support of
governmental bodies; (b) downstream interventions to tackle the
constraints facing women through initiatives focusing on poverty
elimination.  A UNDP/United Nations Volunteers (UNV) project aimed at
reintegrating youth into civil society focuses on strengthening
community-based youth clubs, developing a plan for the institution of
a youth council and conducting an assessment of the hopes, skills and
needs of young people.  UNDP is also developing a programme of
intervention in the agricultural education sector to be implemented in

34.  UNESCO will continue to cooperate with the Palestinian Authority
in improving educational management, through its regular programme,
which provides access to a wide variety of services.  UNESCO will
support an improved programme in science and mathematics teaching and
the creation of a curriculum that is relevant to the specific history,
needs and aspirations of the Palestinian people.  UNESCO also supports
a programme of remedial education for underachieving pupils and for
young people who have left the school system without realizing their
full potential.

35.  UNICEF has been in the forefront of promoting the "software" side
of development, emphasizing its human and social dimensions and
highlighting its global strategy "First Call for Children", under the
local theme "Putting our Children First", and through the joint
Palestinian Authority/UNICEF National Programme of Action.  The
educational component of the Programme embraces early childhood
development, primary education and youth and community development.  

36.  UNRWA requires an annual budget of $65 million to cover its
general education programme in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and to
ensure access to basic education for all eligible refugee children. 
UNRWA will promote community involvement in financing education and,
where possible, in formulating education policies and priorities. 
Upgrading of staff skills at all levels remains an important goal, and
UNRWA will seek to increase the present two-year teacher training
programme to four years.  The teaching programme in UNRWA vocational
and technical centres will be strengthened.     

37.  Harmonization between the UNRWA Education Department and the
Ministry of Education is taking place at all levels.  Specific
activities include accreditation of the UNRWA Education Sciences
Facility, the introduction of uniform examinations for community
colleges and the joint revision of a study plan for vocational
training.  UNRWA is also cooperating with the Ministry of Education in
developing new curricula and textbooks. 

38.  ILO will continue to assist the Palestinian Authority in
developing and strengthening technical training institutions.  In
particular, ILO will expand vocational education and training projects
within the framework of its ongoing activities, such as the programme
for the reintegration of ex-detainees, and capacity-building projects
for the Ministry of Labour and workers and employers organizations. 
ILO has also been requested to identify needs and priorities
concerning the development of three technical colleges.

39.  In 1997, WFP will identify potential partners among
non-governmental organizations focusing on women's activities in
education.  WFP is also considering food assistance as a support for
youth summer camps, in collaboration with UNICEF.

            B.  United Nations assistance in employment generation

                                1.  Background

40.  High unemployment and underemployment levels in the West Bank and
the Gaza Strip constitute an immediate social and economic challenge
to the development efforts of the Palestinian Authority.  Large-scale
unemployment and underemployment cause severe damage to Palestinian
society and threaten political stability.  There are an estimated
20,000 new job seekers each year in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 
With one of the world's highest labour force growth rates (nearly 4
per cent), and with nearly half the population under 15 years of age,
the Palestinian economy is unable to absorb many of those presently
unemployed and is unlikely to accommodate the expected increase in the
number of job-seekers in the years ahead.  In addition, many of those
denied access to the Israeli labour market cannot find work at home. 
The dependent nature of the Palestinian economy has also limited
employment creation and growth.  The industrial sector is relatively
small (contributing less than 8 per cent of gross domestic product)
and most industrial and service sector activities are in the small-
scale production and wholesale/retail trades.  Major sources of
employment are the agriculture and construction sectors.  Given
continuing economic unpredictability and the lack of an adequate basic
infrastructure, large-scale domestic and foreign investment has not
been forthcoming.

41.  In the first labour force survey conducted by the Palestinian
Central Bureau of Statistics in October 1995 with the assistance of
ILO, the rate of open unemployment was revealed as 13 per cent in the
West Bank and 31 per cent in the Gaza Strip, with an additional 20 per
cent registered as underemployed in the two areas.  Owing to border
closures, Palestinian employment in Israel has fluctuated
considerably, decreasing from a daily average of 116,000 in 1992 to
53,000 in 1994 and 29,500 in 1995.  The figures had increased to
approximately 70,000 in the first two months of 1996, prior to the
wave of suicide attacks beginning in late February.  The subsequent
closure effectively drastically reduced Palestinian employment in
Israel:  following the gradual easing of the closure, figures had
returned to approximately 10,000 by the end of May 1996.  At the end
of 1995, the Palestinian Authority, with the assistance of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF), projected that during 1996, the
unemployment rate would be approximately 23 per cent.  As a result of
the extended closure, the Palestinian Authority and IMF have revised
these projections.  Depending on the rate at which trade flows return
to pre-closure levels and the possibility of labourers returning to
their work in Israel, revised projections are that unemployment may
average 31 per cent in 1996.

                            2.  Assistance provided

42.  The Palestinian Economic Council for Development and
Reconstruction (PECDAR), UNDP and UNRWA, are the principal
implementing agencies for projects specifically addressing the problem
of unemployment, and their management capacity has expanded
considerably in the last year.  Under its Peace Implementation
Programme (PIP I and II), UNRWA has received over $146 million,
primarily for the implementation of small-scale infrastructural
projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  Projects funded during the
initial phase of the UNRWA employment generation programme will be
completed during 1996.  Progress has been hampered by extended
closures, limiting the import of construction materials.  However,
technical assistance to contractors and other measures designed to
increase labour intensity have helped to alleviate this situation.

43.  In 1995, UNDP implemented projects amounting to $20 million, up
from $8 million in 1994, for projects using labour-intensive methods
and designed specifically to address the unemployment problem.  UNDP
is also implementing a portfolio of small infrastructure projects
amounting to over $80 million in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 
UNDP received funding for programmes totalling over $28 million, which
are being co-implemented with PECDAR, Palestinian Authority
ministries, municipalities and village councils.  In spite of numerous
closures, UNDP clean-up, infrastructural rehabilitation and
neighbourhood transformation projects have been instrumental in
generating employment and improving municipal and social

44.  ILO technical missions, in coordination with the Palestinian
Authority, have devised strategies to address the unemployment issue
and introduce labour-intensive works programmes.  ILO is also
undertaking the following ongoing employment-related activities:  the
reintegration, through employment, of ex-detainees; assistance to the
Ministry of Labour in the development of labour policy and
legislation; capacity building for the Federation of Palestinian
Chambers of Commerce and the Palestinian Trade Union Federation; an
income-generating programme for the disabled through the manufacture
and maintenance of wheel chairs; assistance to the Palestinian Central
Bureau of Statistics, including a regular labour force survey;
assistance to small enterprise development; a programme to train
contractors; and technical assistance, including the preparation of a
strategy paper for labour-intensive infrastructure development. 

45.  Following three fact-finding missions, UNESCO has proposed setting
up a programme, employing both specialists and unskilled workers, to
safeguard historical sites and monuments in Jericho, Gaza, Hebron and
Bethlehem.  UNESCO also elaborated a programme to create multipurpose
community resource centres in the municipalities of Gaza and Nablus,
to include training for women and young people, as well as cultural
and informational activities.  A centre for the promotion of
employment in the handicrafts industry is also planned.

                          3.  Main development needs

46.  Employment generation activities supported by the United Nations
and the World Bank, in partnership with bilateral donors, have been
largely confined to the Gaza Strip, the first major area to come under
Palestinian self-rule.  However, despite the substantial resources
made available by the international community, the unemployment rate
in the Gaza Strip remains high, at times surpassing 50 per cent, and
is exacerbated by frequent and prolonged security closures.  The need
to rehabilitate deteriorated infrastructure has provided opportunities
for productive employment in the construction sector based on labour-
intensive methods.  With the extension, in late 1995, of Palestinian
self-rule to major towns and surrounding areas in the West Bank, the
Palestinian Authority, the United Nations, the World Bank and donors
are in agreement that the emergency employment generation programmes
should be extended to that region.

47.  United Nations agencies should assist the Palestinian Authority in
formulating a clearly defined employment strategy.  The sectoral
working groups of the Local Aid Coordination Committee should
incorporate, whenever possible, labour-intensive methods in the
implementation of their projects.  However, the need to address the
present crisis should not obscure the fact that unemployment is a
structural problem requiring long-term solutions.  As part of the
development of a job-creation strategy for the West Bank and Gaza
Strip, concrete measures must be taken that encompass a combination of
policy instruments at both macro- and micro-levels including
employment services, training, the development of small and medium-
sized enterprises, the establishment of a social safety net mechanism,
social security, and local and regional cooperation in labour

48.  In a situation of limited institutional capacity and resources,
immediate attention must be given to integrating employment-generating
projects into a comprehensive and coordinated Palestinian employment
programme.  As identified by the Ministry of Labour, this programme
should combine both long-term policies and short-term programmes to
address some of the immediate symptoms of unemployment.  All
components must aim at closing the employment gap and producing
income-earning opportunities for all, including the long-term
unemployed.  To be effective, the programme should be developed as an
integral strategy embracing employment generation, private sector
development and institution building.  While the generation of
productive employment is the main priority of the programme, it should
also strengthen the policy planning and monitoring capacity of the
Palestinian Authority, in particular the Ministry of Labour.  

49.  In its initial phase, priority components of the Palestinian
employment programme should include strengthening the Ministry of
Labour's capacity to formulate, implement and coordinate the
programme, while simultaneously expanding the number and scope of
labour-intensive infrastructure projects and enhancing the labour
content of such projects.  Training for small-scale contractors should
be provided to enhance their capacity to undertake labour-based
projects.  Small-scale income generating projects targeting women,
youth and the disabled should be developed, as should self-employment
and small business support schemes.  The expansion and improvement of
vocational training should also be a priority.  The collection,
analysis and dissemination of labour statistics and labour market
information should be strengthened in order to monitor changes in the
labour market.  UNDP will support the Palestinian Central Bureau of
Statistics and other institutions in producing statistics, including
monitoring the impact of unemployment on women. 

                    4.  Integrated United Nations approach

50.  The sectoral working group on employment generation, following the
successful experience gained in the Gaza Strip during 1995, has
identified a series of priority projects for the West Bank.  Since
November 1995, the working group has been cooperating with
municipalities and village councils to identify new priority project
proposals with a high labour content, targeting short-term development
needs.  The main priority continues to be to support, through
capacity-building, the under-utilized implementation capacity of
municipalities, village councils and the technical departments of key
ministries, through joint implementation modalities between United
Nations agencies and Palestinian institutions.  On-the-job training
will continue to be provided for project management, the planning of
high labour-content infrastructure activities and the introduction of
transparent and accountable methods of project implementation.  As in
the past, all projects have been designed to generate short-term
direct and indirect employment opportunities, to demonstrate a rapid
and visible impact and to improve living conditions.  The sectoral
working group coordinates its activities with the Palestinian
Authority and with donors to avoid duplication or the inclusion of
projects already under active funding consideration.  The projects
comply with demands for transparency and accountability as well as
rapid implementation.

51.  The United Nations strategy should aim at the creation of a
flexible "rolling programme" whereby, as one set of projects is under
implementation, a new set is being identified and planned, thus
permitting uninterrupted continuation.  Such a programme can be
adjusted to meet the changing employment levels in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip.

52.  In order to implement the United Nations strategy, it will be
necessary to strengthen further the implementing capacity of
Palestinian Authority institutions.  UNDP, UNRWA and the World Bank
are presently assisting Palestinian Authority implementing agencies,
municipalities and village councils in enhancing their capacity to
carry out infrastructure works.

53.  UNDP, as co-secretariat to the sectoral working group on
employment generation, will continue to participate in identifying new
labour-intensive programmes.  UNDP will also provide implementing
agencies with reporting and monitoring services and assist in
selecting consultants and sub-contractors, screening contracts, and
procurement and import services.  Through its engineering unit, UNDP
will support the preparation, design and implementation of projects by
providing expertise in the appraisal of proposals and the design of
facilities (either directly or through sub-contracts with
architectural firms).  UNDP will also provide assistance in obtaining
building permits, tendering documents and contracts and selecting
construction firms and supervising construction.  UNDP will continue
to assess priority investment needs in the region and identify co-
financing mechanisms.

54.  UNRWA will continue to address the most pressing infrastructural
needs of the Palestinian Authority through its Peace Implementation
Programme.  Projects include the rehabilitation, replacement and
construction of schools and health facilities, as well as further
investment in the UNRWA shelter rehabilitation and income generation
programmes.  UNRWA has a substantial implementation capacity, staffed
mainly by Palestinians, which can be further expanded, funds
permitting.  The large number of projects that it is currently
implementing contributes significantly to the alleviation of
unemployment.  The UNRWA 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.

55.  ILO, as co-secretariat of the sectoral working group on employment
generation, can provide training to Palestinian Authority staff, small
and medium-sized contractors, consultants and workers.  This approach
could be combined with related programmes in employment policy,
employment services, labour administration and vocational training. 
In addition, ILO will continue to play an active role in assisting the
Palestinian Authority in designing income generation activities for
disadvantaged groups, including ex-detainees, disabled persons and

56.  In the long term, sustainable employment will be generated mainly
by the private sector.  Recently, the Government of Israel and the
Palestinian Authority reached a general agreement on the need for a
programme of border industrial zones to attract foreign investment and
create employment opportunities.  The United Nations agencies with
particular expertise in this field, the Economic and Social Council
for Western Asia (ESCWA), the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/GATT
(ITC), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
(UNCTAD), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization
(UNIDO) and others, should continue to provide technical assistance to
Palestinian Authority agencies to implement this initiative, in close
coordination with the World Bank.

                    C.  United Nations assistance in health

                                1.  Background

57.  The Palestinian Authority assumed overall responsibility for
health in the Gaza Strip and Jericho in May 1994, and the remainder of
the West Bank in December 1994.  Several factors hindered the
development of the sector prior to this, the most significant being
the lack of involvement of Palestinians in decision-making regarding
their own health system.  With the creation of a Ministry of Health,
health matters are being addressed with reference to the needs and
expectations of the local population.  The Palestinian Authority has
made commendable progress in implementing its Interim Action Plan,
based on the National Health Plan, which was developed in consultation
with Palestinian health professionals.  The achievements of the
Palestinian Authority during its first year of operation included the
setting up of the organizational structure of the Ministry of Health,
the development of a number of sectoral priorities and policies, and
steps to address the sector's requirements in the area of human
resources and basic needs.

58.  By mid-year 1996, the population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip
was 2.468 million, as estimated by the Palestinian Central Bureau of
Statistics.  Life expectancy is 70 years for males and 73.5 for
females.  The total fertility rate is estimated to be 7.44 children
per woman in the Gaza Strip and 5.61 children per woman in the West
Bank.  Health indicators, especially the infant and child mortality
rates, resemble those of other countries in the Middle East and those
of similar economic backgrounds.  The estimated infant mortality rate
in 1995 was 32 per 1,000 in Gaza and 25 per 1,000 in the West Bank. 
The major causes of infant mortality are low birth weight and acute
respiratory tract infections.  Preventable diseases are under control
owing to an expanded programme of immunization.  The causes of
morbidity and mortality in the adult population resemble those of
societies in transition, with non-communicable diseases on the
increase and preventable infectious diseases on the decline.

59.  There are 24 hospitals, of which 6 are operated by the Ministry of
Health and the remainder by non-governmental organizations and UNRWA. 
There are 1.1 hospital beds per 1,000 people.  In 1992, there were 467
primary health care facilities.  The number of general practitioners
is 1 per 5,000 population; for nurses the figure is 1 per 1,800. 
There is geographical disparity in terms of health facilities and
personnel, with a tendency to favour urban centres in general, and
Jerusalem in particular.

                            2.  Assistance provided

60.  Following the signing of the Declaration of Principles in
September 1993, the main priority of United Nations agencies was to
meet urgent sectoral needs in the transitional phase and to plan for
long-term sustainable development.  United Nations agencies, in
collaboration with the Palestinian Authority and the donor community,
identified and planned priority interventions for the rehabilitation
of the health infrastructure.  These interventions, aimed primarily at
building, renovating and expanding a number of health facilities, also
benefited the local economy.  United Nations organizations played a
primary role in the implementation of such projects, with their
technical expertise and experience on the ground enabling them to
initiate projects in a relatively short time.

61.  The process of transferring expertise and developing human
resources was also facilitated.  The United Nations played a vital
role in assisting the Palestinian Health Authority in the area of
organization and planning.  Projects on the management and
organization of health care were undertaken by the Ministry of Health,
with support from UNICEF and the World Bank.  United Nations agencies
also extended assistance in a number of areas, including support for
the expanded programme of immunization, an insurance scheme, the
development of a National Essential Drug Programme, the control of
acute respiratory infections and diarrhoeal diseases and support for
maternal health and reproductive health.

62.  The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has proposed a
manpower development project for the Palestinian Authority to provide
training for physicians and technicians in the medical fields relevant
to the mandate of the agency.  In this context, IAEA has sponsored two
Palestinian professionals.

63.  UNDP is completing a project of renovation and expansion of West
Bank hospitals, in Beit Jala, Hebron and Nablus.  In coordination with
PECDAR, UNDP has implemented the rehabilitation/construction of six
clinics and six hospital wards in Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis,
Shifa Hospital and the Psychiatric Hospital in the Gaza Strip.  UNDP,
through its Gender Development Programme, supported the Palestinian
Coalition for Women's Health in improving the provision of women's
health services.  The UNDP Local Rural Development Programme, which
operates in the northern West Bank, has trained 11 rural women as
community health workers.

64.  The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) first extended
assistance in 1987 in cooperation with the World Health Organization
(WHO).  Two maternal and child health/family planning projects,
implemented by UNRWA in coordination with local Palestinian non-
governmental organizations, made considerable progress in improving
the quality of antenatal care and providing postnatal care.  In 1995,
the Women's Centre for Reproductive Health Care was established in
Bureij camp to extend information, education and counselling on
reproductive health.  Activities are carried out in coordination with
the Ministry of Health and UNRWA health centres.  UNFPA is considering
support for the establishment of a similar centre in Gaza City.  Also
in 1995, in response to a request by the Ministry of Health, UNFPA in
collaboration with WHO and UNRWA, fielded a needs assessment and
strategic planning mission for women's health and development.  Under
the umbrella of the Pan-Arab Project for Child Development, UNFPA is
also considering supporting a reproductive health module to be
integrated into the UNICEF multiple indicator cluster survey planned
for 1996.  In addition, UNFPA is finalizing an overall programme of
assistance to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
for the period 1996-1999.  

65.  UNICEF aims to improve the quality of life of Palestinian children
and women through support for maternal and child health programmes and
through appropriate primary health care services.  UNICEF programmes
emphasize the importance of complementarity with the Ministry of
Health, other United Nations bodies and non-governmental organizations
in the field of development, community awareness and intersectoral
cooperation.  This strategy is applied to all the areas within the
organization's concern:  the expanded programme of immunization,
control of diarrhoeal disease, acute respiratory infection, maternal
health, the promotion of breast-feeding and the development of a
health service management unit.  A multiple indicator cluster survey
is being implemented that will generate a database on essential
indicators, especially women's and children's health.

66.  UNRWA continues to maintain and upgrade its medical infrastructure
at the primary care level.  In both the West Bank and Gaza Strip,
UNRWA offers general primary health care, mother and child care,
dental care and a range of specialist services.  UNRWA operates 34
health centres in the West Bank and 17 in the Gaza Strip.  In
addition, UNRWA subsidizes 50 out of 85 beds at Ahli Arab Hospital in
the Gaza Strip and is in the process of completing the construction of
the 232-bed European Hospital near Khan Younis.  UNRWA also provides
refugees with access to hospital services at the secondary and
tertiary level, including the UNRWA hospital in Qalqilia.  The
Agency's regular health budget for 1995 was $14.6 million for the West
Bank and $14.7 million for the Gaza Strip.

67.  Under the Agency's Peace Implementation Programme, phase I
(PIP I), UNRWA launched a large number of health-related projects,
including the maintenance and construction of UNRWA and Palestinian
Authority clinics and the procurement and supply of medical equipment,
together with a number of interventions in the field of environmental
health.  Building on the success of the first phase, UNRWA launched
PIP II in September 1994.  This entailed a heightened focus on
environmental health, and funding was received for a number of
sewerage and drainage projects in Deir el-Balah and Beach Camp in the
Gaza Strip.  In the West Bank, funds were allocated for the
construction of a public health laboratory and the completion of a
sewerage system in Tulkarm.  Following a tripartite evaluation by
UNFPA, UNRWA and the Ministry of Health of the UNRWA expanded maternal
health project in the Gaza Strip, a strategic plan and operational
framework for a sustainable women's health programme was developed in
the autumn of 1995.  UNRWA efforts also went into the improvement of
maternal health services with particular emphasis on the training of
staff of UNRWA, the Ministry of Health and non-governmental

68.  UNRWA also maintains a high level of coordination and
harmonization of health policies and services with the Ministry of
Health, with the aim of facilitating a smooth handover of the UNRWA
health care system.  UNRWA conducts close consultations with the
Ministry of Health on all health-related matters, to identify areas
where resources can be shared.  A high-level Ministry of Health and
UNRWA policy committee on the European Gaza Hospital was established
to discuss the future management of the facility.  UNRWA will hand
over a newly constructed primary health care clinic in the West Bank
to the Ministry of Health.

69.  WFP activities in the Gaza Strip presently target 6,600 households
registered by the Ministry of Social Affairs as hardship cases, the
majority of which consist of women heads of household with large
numbers of dependants.  WFP food assistance is provided to complement
the families' social entitlement package of a cash subsidy and health
insurance.  WFP is paying special attention to primary health care and
is supporting two year-long projects for pregnant women, nursing
mothers and pre-school children.  WFP food aid is distributed as take-
home family rations to poor women to encourage them to visit clinics
and maternal child health centres operated by local non-governmental
organizations.  A total of 1,000 women and their children are
benefiting from these projects.

70.  In 1997, WFP will increase its level of assistance to hardship
cases registered in the Ministry of Social Affairs safety net
programme.  Women heads of households and their daughters will be
provided with direct counselling on health and nutrition-related
subjects and trained in first aid.  WFP is also exploring the
possibility of collaborating with local non-governmental organizations
in support of community-based, health-related interventions.  Another
proposal being considered is to provide food assistance as a budgetary
support to public sector hospitals.

71.  WHO, at the request of the Ministry of Health, provided the
Ministry of Health with direct financial assistance and fielded
several assessment missions.  This assistance permitted the Ministry
of Health to establish a number of units to develop strategic plans
for intersectoral coordination and national health planning.  Many of
these units were subsequently absorbed by the Ministry of Health.  WHO
technical support to the Ministry of Health included the establishment
of a plan for the regular supply and rational use of drugs.  WHO is
also providing assistance to the Ministry of Health and the Ministry
of Agriculture in the development of a zoonotic disease policy.  A
workshop on zoonotic diseases was organized as a prelude to an
agreement on a common policy.  Other technical assistance included
fielding a joint UNDP/UNICEF/WHO mission to formulate project
proposals for the prevention of hearing impairment and the improvement
of nutrition and mother and child health, under the auspices of the
IMPACT (International Initiative Against Avoidable Disablement)

72.  WHO also rehabilitated and equipped four health facilities in the
Gaza Strip and provided the centres with basic medical equipment.  A
supply of medicine and vaccines to cover needs over a six-month period
was provided for all government health facilities.  Development began
on the Khan Younis Rehabilitation Centre, which will provide
physiotherapy services to the southern sector of the Gaza Strip.  As
part of the same project, WHO provided equipment for a number of
secondary health care facilities and the public health laboratory in
the Gaza Strip.

73.  WHO also financed the establishment of a Continuing Education
Centre and a Public Health Training Centre in Gaza, and organized a
total of 13 courses at the same facilities.  Other courses covered
research skills, management skills, health management information
systems, public health laboratory technology, as well as a course for
ambulance attendants and a cardiac course for nurses.  WHO also
organized a workshop, attended by over 300 participants, for the
development of quality control norms in health service delivery. 

74.  In addition, WHO awarded several fellowships to senior Palestinian
employees of the Ministry of Health and is collaborating with Birzeit
University in developing a diploma course in primary health care. 
Funding for research was provided to various Palestinian institutions,
including Al Quds University, which is carrying out a study on the
occurrence of the B-Thalassaemia trait in Palestinian students and is
providing counselling on the disease. 

                          3.  Main development needs

75.  The fragmentation of health services has been a limiting factor in
the development of an integrated, efficient health system.  In
addition to the Ministry of Health, active providers in the West Bank
and Gaza Strip include UNRWA, non-governmental organizations and the
private sector, with varying policies, objectives and interests.  The
introduction of strategic planning and a comprehensive system to
regulate, monitor, evaluate and harmonize services remain an important

76.  The health system inherited by the Ministry of Health, has not yet
been reoriented to the comprehensive approach to primary health care
envisaged in the National Health Plan.  The integration of preventive
and promotive strategies in the curative services is still needed. 
The development and implementation of clearer health policies and a
major reorientation of the system are essential for the future.  A
more comprehensive approach to women's health also needs to be

77.  There are discrepancies between the formal training and work
experience of health staff, and the functions they are required to
perform.  The training, work experience and medical background of
health managers also present obstacles to the implementation of
appropriately oriented health policies.  There is also a need for a
comprehensive and cohesive revision of health legislation, as existing
legislation consists of inherited Ottoman, British, Egyptian and
Jordanian laws and Israeli Civil Administration orders, which reflect
neither recent trends and developments in health, nor the policy
choices made by the Palestinian Authority.

                    4.  Integrated United Nations approach

78.  United Nations support for the Palestinian Authority in the
initial phase of the transition period has focused primarily on
infrastructural development and meeting basic recurrent costs. 
However, with the increasing efficiency of Palestinian institutions,
the focus of the United Nations and donors should now shift to the
transfer of technical expertise and the development of human
resources.  The United Nations approach is based on the mandates of
the respective organizations and on the recommendations of a number of
recent United Nations conferences.  Women should be empowered to
become decision-makers in their own right and influence the health
policy-making process.  Above all, the United Nations strategy in the
health sector should be based on the Palestinian Authority's National
Health Plan and Interim Action Plan. 

79.  The strategies adopted by the United Nations in 1995 have proved
their efficacy and are still valid for the next phase of the
development effort.  These focus on providing technical support and
contributing to primary health care infrastructural projects;
strengthening and developing essential health services, especially
reproductive health and family planning; facilitating coordination
between United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and
bilateral bodies; advising on institutional policies, with particular
reference to gender-related issues; assisting in developing a system
for collecting gender-disaggregated health sector data, as part of a
health management information system; strengthening the capacity of
the Ministry of Health to manage the overall health system; and
assisting in the formulation of policies and strategies for human
resources development.

80.  The United Nations approach should adopt certain guiding
principles.  Strategies should be cross-sectoral and complement the
efforts of other United Nations agencies, as well as the Palestinian
Authority.  The ongoing harmonization of policies between the two main
providers, UNRWA and the Ministry of Health, should be extended to
include non-governmental organizations and the private sector. 
Approaches developed in other countries provide the United Nations
with a range of strategic options to make interventions more cost
effective.  Such an approach will reduce expenditure on secondary and
tertiary health facilities, specialist training and other costly
curative interventions in favour of preventive and promotive
activities, local preferences and sustainability.  

81.  Improved management through the introduction of continuous
training, the decentralization of administrative and budgetary
authorities and the contracting of services plays a major role in
strengthening the health system.  United Nations agencies should
assist the Ministry of Health in rationalizing the health insurance
scheme and promoting initiatives aimed at increasing popular
involvement in sustaining the health system.  The United Nations
should also assist the Ministry of Health in orienting the health
system towards primary health care, as outlined in the National Health
Plan.  The United Nations should also stress the importance of
administrative and financial decentralization to increase the
relevance of health services to local needs. 

                D.  United Nations assistance in infrastructure

                                1.  Background

82.  Infrastructure development is intimately related to the
development of every other economic and social sector.  Roads, water
and sanitation, electricity and communication systems, hospitals and
schools all constitute the foundation for the development of
education, health care, industry, business and agriculture. 

83.  Despite the assistance provided thus far for housing, as well as
the recent strong growth in private sector activity, the sector
remains underdeveloped.  The number of units constructed in the past
few years falls well short of the present need of 40,000 housing units
for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as estimated by the Ministry of
Housing in 1995.

84.  Negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and donor countries
concerning the construction of an airport and sea port progressed
during 1995.  An airport in the Rafah area, in the southern part of
the Gaza Strip, is under construction, and the Palestinian Authority
expects that it will become operational by late 1996.  Although a
number of studies relating to urban transportation planning have been
conducted, the land transportation system is underdeveloped.  Urban
and rural roads are in an advanced state of disrepair and present a
significant obstacle to economic development.

85.  Although electricity demand for both domestic and industrial use
continues to increase, supply remains static.  Supply may soon
increase owing to the involvement of the private sector and donors
interested in assisting in the construction of a power generator in
the Gaza Strip.  Existing telecommunications systems are also unable
to satisfy growing public demand.  The private sector is expected to
become involved in this area through the recently established
Palestinian Telecommunications Company, a public share holding company
established to provide communications services to the West Bank and
Gaza Strip.

86.  The Ministry of Health intends to implement the recommendations of
its Hospital Master Plan for the extension and upgrading of existing
health facilities and the construction of new hospitals.  The Ministry
of Education and Higher Education has placed the rehabilitation and
development of its material resources - the construction, upgrading
and equipping of educational facilities - at the top of its
priorities.  The Ministry is targeting deprived rural areas and
creating facilities specifically for girls.

87.  The most significant development in the water sector during 1995
was the establishment of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), which
assumed responsibility for coordinating activities in this sector and
for establishing priority investment and technical assistance needs. 
However, waste water disposal remains a problem.  Sewage treatment
plants, where they exist, are inadequate and require extensive
rehabilitation and maintenance.  Responsibility remains with the
municipalities.  No specialized authority has yet been established to
ensure a systematic approach to the improvement of the sector or to
prioritize investment needs.

88.  The agricultural sector, a mainstay of the Palestinian economy and
a major source of employment, faces several constraints.  Access to
natural resources remains restricted, physical infrastructure is
inadequate and modern services and marketing facilities are lacking. 
In addition, the agricultural sector needs further assistance to
address urgent needs in agricultural development, planning and policy-

                            2.  Assistance provided

89.  Approximately 70 per cent of the budget of UNDP for the occupied
territories during 1995 and early 1996 was expended in the education,
health, housing, sanitation and water sectors.  Projects consist of an
integrated package of capital assistance, training and technical
assistance, with capital assistance accounting for 80 per cent of the
programme.  Whenever possible, construction activities include labour-
intensive techniques.  The ongoing employment generation programme,
supported by UNDP, combines the objectives of improving service and
basic infrastructure with creating job opportunities.  Innovative
project implementation arrangements have been adopted in order to
ensure the full participation of Palestinian institutions.

90.  In the water sector, UNDP provided assistance to seven villages in
1995.  Projects ranged from the rehabilitation of existing water
supply and distribution systems to the construction of new systems and
the training of local council technical staff in operation and
maintenance.  In urban areas, UNDP has completed the rehabilitation of
part of the Tulkarm water system, as well as the implementation of
three other projects in Rafah, Ramallah and Nablus.  One ongoing
project involves the preparation of a water master plan for Khan
Younis city and refugee camp, and the rehabilitation and upgrading of
the existing system.  In addition, two related projects in the Hebron
District are under implementation.  Following the signing of the
Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, a new
assistance programme was developed by UNDP to respond to Palestinian
needs, consistent with annex III, appendix 1, article 40, of the
Agreement on water.  UNDP will design and construct the transmission
line from a new well, funded by the Government of Israel, to the
residential areas of Jenin City.  

91.  At the institutional level, UNDP has been supporting the
management of water resources through the establishment of the Water
Resources Action Program (WRAP) in April 1994.  WRAP is now almost
fully integrated into PWA and the project is entering into its second
phase, which involves support for the formulation and implementation
of a PWA policy.  Participation in the development of a Palestinian
strategy on waste water treatment and reuse is also a high priority
for UNDP. 

92.  UNDP initiated a project in 1995 to rehabilitate a school and
cultural complex in the city of Jericho to serve the needs of
approximately 2,000 students.  UNDP also launched a comprehensive
programme for the rehabilitation of 18 schools in West Bank rural
communities and the premises of the Ministry of Education in Ramallah. 
The programme, which targets the rural female population, is expected
to expand in 1997.  As part of the Employment Generation Programme,
UNDP, in cooperation with PECDAR, has undertaken minor infrastructure
works in 19 educational facilities throughout the Gaza Strip.

93.  UNDP continued its upgrading and renovation of Beit Jala Hospital
near Bethlehem.  Work is expected to be completed in 1996. 
Construction activities to expand the Women's Union Hospital in Nablus
was completed, and the two-storey annex will accommodate three
operating theatres and intensive care units.  In addition, UNDP, in
coordination with PECDAR, has rehabilitated or constructed six clinics
and six hospital wards for Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis and the
Shifa Hospital and Psychiatric Hospital in Gaza City.  These projects
form part of the Employment Generation Programme funded by the
Government of Sweden.  UNDP has also procured hospital equipment and
supplies for Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis and for Shifa Hospital in
Gaza City.

94.  In the agricultural sector, UNDP is revitalizing two Palestinian
intermediate-level agricultural training schools at Al-Aroub near
Hebron and Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip.  The aim of the project is
to renovate existing physical facilities in both centres through the
construction of new classrooms and dormitories and the rehabilitation
of model farms.  Throughout 1995, UNDP also supported a number of
private sector initiatives such as the procurement of equipment for
the Ramallah poultry cooperative, as well as supplying additional
investments to the Gaza Citrus Plant.  UNDP and the United Nations
Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) are supporting a local and rural
development programme in the district of Jenin.  In addition to the
local and rural development programme, UNDP is also supporting a
number of village councils in their efforts to be upgraded as

95.  UNDP is implementing a housing project in Beit Hanoun that will
provide 256 housing units for families of the Palestinian police
force.  Construction commenced in March 1995 and is expected to be
completed by the end of 1996.

96.  Following the signing of the Declaration of Principles between the
Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in
September 1993, UNRWA established its Peace Implementation Programme
(PIP).  This programme primarily targeted basic infrastructure
projects in the education, health, and social sectors.  Following the
success of its first phase, PIP II was launched in September 1994. 
UNRWA prioritized projects under PIP II, emphasizing those which can
be implemented immediately and do not add significant recurrent costs
and have a large direct labour component.  UNRWA maintains a priority
short list of projects, focusing mainly on the construction of
schools, classrooms and shelters.  The primary focus is the continuous
strengthening of basic physical infrastructure in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip, with the aim of improving refugee living conditions and
contributing to employment generation.  UNRWA is also preparing for
the eventual hand over of its services to the Palestinian Authority.

97.  Prior to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, UNRWA
assumed a lead role in planning for sustainable development in the
environmental health sector.  Since the establishment of the Ministry
of Planning and International Cooperation and PECDAR and the
subsequent strengthening of local capacity within this sector, UNRWA
has been coordinating closely with the Palestinian Authority.  UNRWA
is implementing environmental health projects amounting to $27 million
under PIP I.  Under PIP II, UNRWA received $17.3 million for projects
for the improvement of environmental conditions in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip, and is seeking over $110 million in donor funding for
additional projects.

98.  UNRWA is implementing education-related projects, amounting to
$48.3 million, under PIP I and II.  The construction of additional
schools and classrooms and the replacement of unsuitable premises will
enhance the quality of education which the Agency provides to the
refugee population.  The anticipated return of refugee families will
place additional pressure on the Agency's education facilities.  UNRWA
is still seeking $85.7 million in funding for education projects under

99.  UNRWA is implementing health projects amounting to $50.8 million
under its PIP I and II programmes.  The focus of the programme is to
maintain and upgrade the health infrastructure at the primary level in
close coordination with the Palestinian Health Authority.  UNRWA is
still seeking over $2 million in donor funding for health-related
projects and additional funding for the European Gaza Hospital near
Khan Younis, the first new hospital to be built in the Gaza Strip in
over 25 years.  Since the establishment of PIP, UNRWA has received
$27.4 million in funding for shelter upgrading and reconstruction. 
Potential beneficiaries are selected on the basis of established
socio-economic hardship criteria.  The work is carried out by local
contractors or on a self-help basis.  UNRWA is still seeking $11
million for the West Bank and $7 million in funds for Gaza.

100.     Following a mission by the International Civil Aviation
Organization (ICAO), three projects were identified.  An ICAO project
to support the Palestinian Civil Aviation Authority has been included
in the Palestinian Authority's list of priority projects. 

101.     As a result of various missions by the International
Telecommunication Union (ITU) during 1995, a study was finalized and a
number of priority projects were identified.  A training workshop was
conducted and several fellowships were awarded to staff in the
Ministry of Planning and Telecommunications to participate in regional
activities organized by ITU.  Following a mission to assess the
priority needs of the Ministry of Planning and Telecommunications, ITU
formulated a technical assistance programme for 1996-1997.  ITU has
seconded a senior expert in telecommunications operations and
management to the Ministry of Planning and Telecommunications for six

102.     An International Maritime Organization (IMO) advisory mission
visited the Gaza Strip to assess the needs in the maritime sector.  As
a result, two project profiles were prepared, with a project entitled
"Establishment of a maritime administration" being included in the
Palestine Authority's Core Investment Programme.  Following a
Universal Postal Union (UPU) mission in 1995, a number of priorities
were identified and two projects formulated.  The project entitled
"Rehabilitation of the postal services" was also included in the Core
Investment Programme.

103.     UNESCO activities in the field of educational infrastructure
included a project to rehabilitate schools in the Gaza Strip and the
West Bank.  By January 1996, 17 schools were rehabilitated and
furnished.  A model kindergarten in Gaza City was also constructed, to
serve up to 50 disadvantaged children.  

                          3.  Main development needs

104.     In view of the enormous needs of infrastructural development,
the first priority must be the rehabilitation, operation and
maintenance of existing physical infrastructure facilities. 
Simultaneously, sustainable capacity must be developed to manage,
operate and maintain these facilities, through the establishment of
adequate management systems and structures, on-the-job training and
the transfer of skills and knowledge.  All capital investments in
infrastructure should be combined with appropriate technical
assistance packages.  In addition, support for future development
planning should be coordinated with Palestinian institutions, in
particular the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation.

105.     Infrastructural requirements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip -
 in the agriculture, education, health, industry, sanitation and water
sectors - are similar in terms of the type of projects needed. 
However, it is increasingly evident that needs vary between the West
Bank and the Gaza Strip and that development priorities should be
tailored accordingly.  Population density, availability of key natural
resources, per capita income and urban and agricultural conditions
differ between the crowded coastal plain and the less densely
populated West Bank.  In view of the limited availability of land, a
regulated programme of land use is a prerequisite for all other forms
of infrastructural development, and such development should
incorporate strict guidelines for the protection of the environment
and of human resources. 

106.     Dwindling water resources, the growth of the agricultural
sector and a rising population necessitate the creation of efficient
water preservation and distribution systems.  Palestinian experts in
water resource planning and management require assistance in the field
of water policy, legislation and management strategies.  Closely
related to the question of water resources is the issue of waste water
disposal and reuse.  Inadequate sewage systems and the absence of
proper treatment and disposal schemes threaten both the quality of the
water supply and public health.

107.     The revival of the agricultural sector features prominently
in Palestinian development planning.  To encourage private investment,
the improvement of the legal, regulatory and institutional framework
is necessary.  Basic agricultural infrastructure - schools,
laboratories, quarantine stations, research stations - also requires

108.     In order for Palestinian industry to develop and become
competitive, a proper transportation system and modern electric and
telecommunications networks are necessary.  Power generation plants,
energy planning and information systems, energy efficiency programmes
and renewable energy technologies are required.  Similarly, the lack
of a modern telecommunications network has a negative impact on the
ability of Palestinian business and industry to compete.

109.     The educational infrastructure requires upgrading, and
existing material resources, including classrooms, laboratories,
libraries and playgrounds, need rehabilitation and expansion.  Rural
communities should be targeted, especially those in inaccessible areas
and where female pupils are underrepresented. 

110.     The National Health Plan of the Ministry of Health focuses on
the rehabilitation, renovation and expansion of tertiary health care
facilities.  The first priority is to provide equal access to high
quality hospital care.  The National Health Plan envisages providing
increasing bed capacity in under-served districts of the West Bank. 
The second priority is the provision of operating theatres and
intensive-care equipment.  

111.     The rate of house construction cannot meet existing needs,
especially those of low-income families.  Demand will continue to
grow, given the high rate of population growth and the expected rise
in the number of returnees.  The Palestinian Authority is currently
devising a strategy to promote private sector financing for housing
and to increase the supply of affordable housing for the low-income
segment of the population.  The main elements of this strategy are the
provision of long-term financing and insurance facilities to promote
commercial bank financing for housing; the establishment of a housing
bank, targeting assistance and subsidies to needy households; the
upgrading of infrastructure in low-income neighbourhoods; and legal
and regulatory reforms to encourage private sector participation in
the development of the housing sector.  It is recommended that the
Palestinian Authority act as a facilitator in housing provision and a
generator of job opportunities. 

                    4.  Integrated United Nations approach

112.     The primary elements of the United Nations strategy to
support the development of the Palestinian Authority efforts in
infrastructure are the continued rehabilitation of basic education,
health and agriculture, as well as adopting labour intensive
techniques in the design and implementation of projects.  A realistic
assessment of the situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip shows
that the Palestinian Authority lacks the financial resources to
implement and manage major infrastructure projects at this time.  The
United Nations strategy for infrastructure development should fully
support the preliminary statement on the Palestinian development
strategy, presented to the Ministerial Conference on Economic
Assistance to the Palestinian People in Paris on 9 January 1996. 

113.     There is an urgent need for both the rehabilitation of
existing infrastructure and investment in new strategic facilities,
with potential for regional linkages.  Although significant progress
has been made in the implementation of the World Bank-supported
Emergency Rehabilitation Program and other donor-funded programmes,
rehabilitation and upgrading is still needed for electricity
distribution, existing roads, drainage, water supply and waste water
treatment systems, as well as solid waste collection and disposal. 

114.     The education sector suffered inadequate levels of investment
in the past, which the Palestinian Authority's Core Investment
Programme is addressing by rehabilitating and expanding basic
education facilities and strengthening educational management.  The
main priorities are the rehabilitation of existing schools and the
construction of new ones to overcome the problem of overcrowding, the
upgrading of higher education facilities and establishing art,
cultural and recreational institutions.  The ongoing UNRWA Peace
Implementation Programme is an essential component of the development
effort in this sector.
The Peace Implementation Programme will also continue to benefit the
health sector, as will WHO through its role as secretariat to the
sectoral working group on health.  This sector faces difficulties
owing to the shortage of hospitals, staff and equipment, as a result
of the tripling of the West Bank and Gaza Strip population since 1967. 
Infrastructure is inadequate and there are disparities in the quality
of health care services.  Priorities include improving the primary
health care system and consolidating hospital-based care.  The Core
Investment Programme focuses on the rehabilitation of existing
facilities and the extension of basic health care infrastructure to
those areas where needs are most urgent. 

115.     UNDP will assist the agricultural sector through the
development of an investment programme for the revitalization of the
research, extension and agricultural training sub-sector.  A number of
feasibility studies will be developed for priority physical
infrastructure needs.  These activities will be developed in
coordination with the institutional capacity-building support which
UNDP will provide to the Ministries of Agriculture and Education, in
terms of policy development and strategic planning.  In addition, UNDP
and UNCDF will continue to support the relevant ministries and local
authorities in the area of local planning and financing for

             E.  United Nations assistance in institution-building

                                1.  Background

116.     The Palestinian Authority assumed responsibility for central
administration functions in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area in May
1994, following the signing of the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the
Jericho Area.  The scope of the powers of the Palestinian Authority
was extended to certain defined spheres of central government
responsibility throughout the West Bank in December 1994.  In
addition, throughout the latter months of 1995, following the signing
of the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the
Palestinian Authority assumed full self-rule and civil administration
responsibilities in most West Bank cities and in many towns and
villages.  The mandate of the Palestinian Authority now covers the
majority of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza
Strip, although a much smaller percentage of the actual territory.

117.     Palestinian institutions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
comprise three distinct categories:  the Palestinian Authority central
administration, local government and non-governmental organizations. 
The central administration has absorbed former employees of the
Israeli Civil Administration, staff of the technical and operational
departments of the Palestine Liberation Organization, staff from some
local non-governmental organizations and individuals from the private
sector.  A comprehensive manpower development programme is needed, to
take into account the different backgrounds and technical capacities
of central administration employees.

118.     In the area of local government, Palestinian public
institutions have existed for decades in the form of village councils,
local development councils and municipal administrations.  At the non-
governmental level, a large number of Palestinian non-governmental
organizations, including charitable societies, cooperatives, research
centres and community-based organizations, have operated in the West
Bank and Gaza Strip.  Many non-governmental organizations have served -
 and continue to serve - vital public and quasi-public functions. 
Support from the United Nations has been provided to, and through,
this network of non-governmental organizations and community-based
organizations.  At all of these administrative levels, it is necessary
to develop sustainable institutions that can deliver public services
to the Palestinian population in an efficient and effective manner.

                            2.  Assistance provided

119.     In response to the changes that have occurred since the
signing of the 1993 Declaration of Principles, United Nations
assistance to institution-building has evolved rapidly, focusing on
assisting in the organization and start-up of the Palestinian
Authority.  The United Nations is assisting Palestinian Authority
ministries and institutions to coordinate their activities and
formulate central-level policies in different sectors, as well as to
build up the Authority's institutional structures. 

120.     In 1994 and 1995, UNDP responded to the most pressing needs
of the Palestinian Authority by providing emergency start-up funding
and procurement support to 19 Palestinian Authority ministries and
institutions.  UNDP also continued its tradition of public sector
support at the municipal and local levels, primarily through large-
scale infrastructure investments, combined with training and technical
assistance.  Since early 1995, UNDP has been implementing the TOKTEN
Programme (Transfer of Knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals), which
has become a key source of short-term technical assistance to the
Palestinian Authority.  The TOKTEN Programme sponsors the return of
expatriate Palestinians to provide policy advisory services,
consultancy studies and training to Palestinian Authority ministries,
universities, research centres and quasi-public institutions.

121.     In a complementary manner, UNV is providing specialists to
work within Palestinian Authority ministries for long-term missions
(1-2 years), to support policy and strategy formulation,
prioritization of needs and identification of project and funding
sources.  With current UNDP funding, a UNV umbrella project is
providing support to the Ministries of Social Affairs, Youth and
Sports, Education, and Tourism and Antiquities.  The UNV modality is
also being utilized in a UNDP project to give support to women's
departments in the Ministries of Social Affairs, Youth and Sports,
Planning and International Cooperation, and Health.  In addition, a
team of four UNV specialists, through its White Helmets Initiative, is
lending expertise to the Municipality of Gaza in its long-term urban
planning process.

122.     In 1995, UNDP assisted in the establishment of the
interministerial task force for public administration development and
public sector management, working closely with the Ministry of
Planning and International Cooperation.  UNDP sponsored a mission from
its Management Development and Governance Division, which helped to
set out the priority needs of the Palestinian Authority and made
recommendations for a public administration development programme. 
UNDP has also assisted in the formulation and ongoing implementation
of the Palestinian Authority's Public Administration Training
Programme for civil servants.  In addition, UNDP is supporting the
efforts of women's departments within Palestinian Authority ministries
to enhance their capacity to integrate gender concerns into the
development process.  The employment-generating public works
programme, developed with assistance from UNDP and donors, is building
local institutional capacity in the form of the PECDAR Programme
Management Unit in Gaza.  Progress in the development of the Programme
Management Unit has been central to the development and implementation
of infrastructure rehabilitation and construction programmes.

123.     UNDP also supported the establishment of the Palestinian
Water Authority in 1995, through technical and advisory support
provided through the Water Resources Action Programme.  In the field
of agriculture, UNDP has commissioned the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to undertake a formulation
mission to develop an institution-building programme to strengthen the
capacities of the Ministry of Agriculture in policy formulation and

124.     UNRWA, through its long history of assistance to Palestinian
refugees, plays a large role in the West Bank and Gaza Strip public
sector, particularly in education, health and social services.  UNRWA
employs over 5,500 teachers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, who
provide primary, preparatory and vocational schooling to 177,000
students.  UNRWA offers basic health and social services to over 1.2
million registered refugees, operates approximately 52 out-patient
facilities and employs 130 physicians and 1,500 other health care
workers.  In the Gaza Strip, UNRWA provides monthly in-kind support to
almost 100,000 of the poorest refugees.  The Agency's activities over
the past 45 years have built up substantive local capacity and
dramatically improved the Palestinian human resource base.  These
capacities help set the agenda for institutional development, in
particular in the area of public management and administration.

125.     The new UNICEF programme of cooperation for 1996-1997
includes a two-fold strategy for the survival, protection and
development of children:  (a) providing emergency relief and
rehabilitation services during the transition stage; (b) developing a medium-
 to long-term capacity-building programme for governmental and non-
governmental institutions and for empowering communities.  This
strategy will focus on developing policies and systems and building
institutions to promote the rights of children and women, under the
framework of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women.

126.     In 1994-1995, ILO initiated a long-term project for the
foundation and development of the Ministry of Labour.  ILO assisted
the Ministry in integrating offices previously managed by the Israeli
Civil Administration.  Branch offices of the Ministry of Labour were
set up in Gaza and Jericho.  ILO also assisted the Ministry in
developing labour inspection services and elaborating a labour code. 
Training of labour market agents and of labour inspectors has already

127.     In addition, ILO assisted the Ministry of Social Affairs in
designing and implementing a programme for the reintegration and
rehabilitation of ex-detainees.  The Ministry of Social Affairs and
ILO are undertaking activities related to vocational rehabilitation. 
At the request of the Palestinian Authority, ILO formulated a proposal
on "A Palestinian employment programme:  a medium-term strategy" in
1995, to provide a framework to design policies and programmes for
sustainable and productive job creation.  The ultimate objective of
the Palestine employment programme is to enhance the capacity of the
Palestinian Authority to undertake policy and programme planning on
employment and labour market issues. 

128.     In addition, with the assistance of ILO, the Palestinian
Central Bureau of Statistics finalized the first Palestinian labour
force survey in early 1996.  Another ILO project launched at the
beginning of 1995 upgraded the equipment of the Federation of
Palestinian Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture and
provided training and technical expertise.  ILO has also supported
workers' organizations such as the Palestinian General Federation of
Trade Unions by promoting trade union rights, enhancing the
organizational structure of the Federation and improving trade union
management and services.

129.     WFP assistance aims to improve the delivery of public
services by the Department of Rehabilitation and Relief of the
Ministry of Social Welfare.  To enhance the skills of 50 social
workers within the Ministry, WFP will organize six workshops
throughout 1996, focusing on monitoring and data collection techniques
and awareness-raising on issues related to gender, nutrition,
education, health and environmental sanitation.

130.     The Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division of the
United Nations Secretariat is developing a project to improve the
criminal justice division in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in order
to complement other ongoing projects in this field.  The aim is to
improve the administration of the criminal justice system by providing
assistance in drafting and reviewing laws and building the capacity of
criminal justice personnel through training courses.  

131.     The United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied
Territories continues to coordinate bilateral and multilateral
training programmes for the Palestinian police force.  The main
objective has been to gradually transform international training
efforts into a longer-term framework to enable the police to undertake
its own specialized training.  During 1995, the police force programme
focused on the need to establish a police academy, to be built in
Nablus.  Meetings between prospective donors, the Palestinian police
and the Mayor of Nablus have been facilitated through the Office of
the Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories.  In the first
half of 1996, more than 550 policemen received training in the
following areas:  advanced driving, basic forensic science, drug law
enforcement, human rights, maintenance of public order, management
development and training, and management training for traffic police
and women police management.  The Office of the Special Coordinator in
the Occupied Territories provides support services to donors,
including the facilitation and briefing of visiting missions and
trainers, as well as assisting in the monitoring, follow-up and
evaluation of courses.  Training courses are designed to meet needs
identified by the Palestinian police force and expressed to the
international community, through the Local Aid Coordination Committee
sectoral working group on the police, for which the Office serves as

132.     The Centre for Human Rights of the United Nations Secretariat
has secured funding for a two-year project for the strengthening of
the rule of law in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  It will be
implemented by a project team to be located in Gaza, and will include
support for law reform, training and advisory services to police,
prison officials, lawyers and judges, as well as technical and
financial support for local human rights organizations and the
Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens Rights.

133.     WHO assistance has continued to focus mainly on building an
infrastructure for primary health care, secondary health care and
environmental health, especially in the Gaza Strip.  WHO provided
resources for the establishment and operation of a number of
departments of the Ministry of Health.  WHO also responded to the
request of the Palestinian Council for Health for financial and other
assistance in the following fields:  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; the design and
evaluation of an insurance system; the design of a regulatory
framework for health services; and the establishment of priorities for
the environmental-health sector.

134.     In 1994 and 1995, UNFPA fielded a number of technical
advisory missions to assist the Palestinian Central Bureau of
Statistics in formulating a population and housing census project. 
The project will contribute to building the institutional capabilities
of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics through technical
assistance from UNFPA and the Department for Economic and Social
Information and Policy Analysis; the recruitment and training of field
workers, statisticians and data-processing specialists; and the
provision of data-processing and other equipment for collecting and
analysing population data.  Census data will be collected and analysed
by gender to provide the basis for the formulation of specific
policies to respond to women's needs.  To help build the operational
capabilities of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, UNFPA
may provide training for its staff and for non-governmental
organizations in financial and administrative rules and procedures. 
These above activities would be implemented as part of the UNFPA
Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (1996-1999), which
is being finalized.

135.     In addition, UNFPA assisted in the establishment of a women's
centre for reproductive health care, social assistance, legal
counselling and community education in the Bureij refugee camp in the
Gaza Strip.  The centre was inaugurated in December 1995, and its
activities are being implemented by local non-governmental
organizations, in coordination with the Ministry of Health and UNRWA. 
UNFPA is considering support for the establishment of a similar centre
in Gaza City.  UNFPA is also planning to provide technical assistance
and training to the Women's Health and Development Department of the
Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Affairs and women's non-
governmental organizations.

136.     The activities of the United Nations Development Fund for
Women (UNIFEM) focus on institutionalizing gender planning within
emerging Palestinian Authority bodies.  The recent activities of
UNIFEM included supporting preparations for the Fourth World
Conference on Women in Beijing, by providing training to Palestinian
participants.  Since the Conference, UNIFEM has launched follow-up
activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip through a regional project
that targets governmental mechanisms and non-governmental
organizations to promote the implementation of the platform of action
adopted in Beijing.  UNIFEM is also providing support for the
establishment of a Women in Development Facilitation Unit in the West
Bank and Gaza Strip, which will endeavour to integrate gender issues
into existing donor coordination mechanisms.

137.     Following an assessment mission in October 1995, the
Department for Development Support and Management Services formulated
five project documents, comprising a comprehensive package of
assistance to the Palestinian Authority in the area of financial
management.  The Department also supported the United Nations Seminar
on Palestinian Administrative, Managerial and Financial Needs and
Challenges, held in June 1995. 

138.     The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has developed
three project proposals aimed at strengthening the institutional
framework of the telecommunications sector:  Advisory support to the
Ministry of Post and Telecommunications; a telecommunication training
centre; and a telecommunication master plan.  Other ITU activities in
1995 included assisting the Ministry of Telecommunications in its
assessment of priority needs and conducting an organizational
development training workshop in November 1995 for telecommunications

139.     Following assessment missions, the United Nations Centre for
Human Settlement (Habitat) has prepared a project document entitled
"Housing policy and projects", to assist the Ministry of Housing in
the preparation and formulation of a comprehensive housing policy and
implementation strategy, including institutional and regulatory
frameworks, land regulations, housing and municipal finance, and
monitoring mechanisms.

140.     In partnership with the Palestinian Authority, UNESCO has
developed project proposals in the fields of education, science,
culture and communication.  In addition, during 1995-1996, UNESCO
undertook the following activities:  a human resources project for the
Ministry of Education; an international meeting of experts on music
culture in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; a training seminar for
theatre instructors; and technical assistance and equipment to the
Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation.  In addition, UNESCO will soon
be initiating a project to restructure and strengthen the Palestinian
News Agency (WAFA).

141.     UPU undertook an assessment mission in 1995 and formulated a
project to develop the human resources capacity of the Palestinian
postal system through training of its staff in management and postal

142.     As part of its strategy to build up institutional
capabilities in the areas of trade, finance, and related services,
UNCTAD fielded an advisory mission to the Ministry of Transport, to
identify requirements and elaborate a project of technical cooperation
in the development and management of the Gaza commercial sea port. 
The project foresees technical assistance from UNCTAD, primarily in
the establishment of institutional, operational and managerial
capacities, and the necessary legal framework for the proper setting
up and functioning of the port.

143.     The United Nations Institute for Training and Research
(UNITAR), has formulated two projects.  The project entitled "Training
in public administration" aims to strengthen the capacity of senior
officials and institutions in budgeting, financial management, debt
management and financial negotiations.  Two workshops on financial
management were conducted by UNITAR in Gaza and Ramallah in December
1995.  The project entitled "Training for establishing a Palestinian
Land Information System and Mapping (PALISMAP)" aims to establish a
geographic information infrastructure to facilitate access to, and use
of, geoinformation and to improve the mapping capabilities of relevant

144.     The strategy of the United Nations Drug Control Programme
focuses on a multisectoral approach to coordinate and integrate drug
control policies into the broader developmental policies of the West
Bank and Gaza Strip.  The Programme is developing subregional
cooperation with neighbouring countries (Jordan, Egypt, Israel).  In
1995, in close collaboration with the Palestinian Authority, the
Programme prepared the project entitled "Multi-sectoral drug control
assistance to the Palestinian Authority", which will provide technical
assistance (a) to establish a drug control institutional framework;
(b) to reduce the illicit supply of narcotic drugs through improved
detection, interdiction and prosecution capacities; and (c) to prevent
and reduce drug abuse through improved awareness, treatment and
rehabilitation methods.  Emphasis will be placed on capacity-building
through training in the above areas.

145.     ESCWA has assisted in assessing the restructuring and
rehabilitation of public agricultural institutions and in assessing
the role of non-governmental organizations in the agricultural sector,
with an emphasis on agricultural credit institutions.  ESCWA also
assisted in the rehabilitation and development of the Palestinian
Central Bureau of Statistics through training programmes, with an
emphasis on new systems for national accounts and the development of
gender statistics.

146.     UNEP conducted a course in December 1995 to assist the
Regional Training Group of the Multilateral Working Group on Water. 
The aim was to provide participants with an analytical framework on
sustainable freshwater use in the Middle East.

147.     UNIDO has developed a strategy for technical assistance in
private sector development for industry, small- and medium-scale
enterprises, human resources development and technology.  Within this
framework, UNIDO is implementing a project on the integrated
development of the building materials and construction industry.  This
project will provide for a unit to monitor and manage technical
cooperation projects, as well as related activities.  In 1995, UNIDO
undertook several missions aimed at developing projects, including the
establishment of the Palestinian Standards Organization, the
Palestinian Fashion Design and Technology Development Centre, the
Biomedical Equipment Repair and Maintenance Centre and a Plastics
Service and Trading Centre.  UNIDO is also proposing technical support
to various ministries, the newly established Industrial Associations
and the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

                          3.  Main development needs

148.     Institutional building comprises one of the four primary
components of the Palestinian Authority's preliminary statement on a
Palestinian development strategy, presented in January 1996 at the
Ministerial Conference on Economic Assistance to the Palestinian
People.  As noted in the preliminary statement, the institutional
development component aims to achieve the development of a new system
of governance, and the building of local capabilities and a competent
civil service necessary to implement the economic development

149.     As outlined in the preliminary statement, the Palestinian
Authority's institutional development priorities include strengthening
the technical, financial and managerial capabilities of municipal
governments; building up a legal basis for public administration;
strengthening the key central institutions relating to commerce and
economic management; ensuring that development projects incorporate
institution-building components; ensuring extensive consultations
between the central Government, local authorities, the private sector
and non-governmental organizations in the implementation of an
economic development strategy; creating capacity within Palestinian
institutions for research, policy analysis and policy implementation;
and ensuring open participation in the decision-making process by
involving the public in policy formulation and the design of the
development strategy.  The United Nations strategy for institution-
building will be geared towards responding to these priorities.

                    4.  Integrated United Nations approach

150.     Owing to the urgency of supporting the initial start-up phase
of the Palestinian Authority ministries and institutions, most donor
support in the area of institution-building has focused on capital
investments and support for recurrent expenditures.  Although
technical assistance may take longer to bear fruit, it is an essential
element in long-term institutional development and a key factor in
developing the absorptive capacity of the Palestinian Authority to
implement large-scale capital investments.

151.     An important focus for the United Nations system will be in
the physical infrastructure sector.  The United Nations system has the
necessary expertise to provide capacity-building technical assistance
within selected areas of infrastructure rehabilitation, such as civil
aviation, port management, housing, employment-generating public works
programmes, telecommunications, hospital and school construction, and
the postal service.  Another important focus for the United Nations
system is in supporting sustainable human and social development
through the provision of technical assistance to those Palestinian
institutions closely concerned with the delivery of public and social
services.  The relevant United Nations organizations can provide a
broad range of technical assistance, including training and policy
advisory support.  In addition, technical experts can assist
Palestinian Authority ministries in developing and implementing
sectoral gender-sensitive strategies and action plans.  Assistance can
also be provided to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation
capacities of the ministries.

152.     United Nations organizations may also assist ministries in
establishing data systems and information bases in order to make data
available to policy-makers, as well as strengthening institutional
capacities in the analysis, dissemination and utilization of such
data.  United Nations organizations will also continue their support
to non-governmental organizations and may help establish appropriate
mechanisms for partnership between Palestinian Authority institutions
and non-governmental organizations.

153.     Another key element of the United Nations strategy for
institution-building will be the continuing focus on supporting public
sector management and public administration development.  The aim of
the United Nations system is to support and strengthen the capacities
of those Palestinian Authority institutions which play a central role
in public administration.  The United Nations system will work with
relevant Palestinian institutions to assist the Palestinian Authority
in other tasks that could be included in an overall Public
Administration Development Programme.  The United Nations system will
continue to support the Palestinian Authority in the ongoing
formulation of an overall gender-sensitive training strategy and in
the coordination and implementation of training programmes.

154.     Priority from the United Nations system should also be given
to enhancing the capacity of the Ministry of Labour to formulate,
implement, coordinate and monitor a comprehensive Palestinian
employment programme.  Short-term employment programmes will be
designed and implemented under the Palestinian employment programme to
alleviate long-term structural unemployment.  Support should also be
provided to other institutions concerned with labour and employment
issues, such as employers' and workers' organizations.  

155.     The United Nations system will also continue to support the
capacity development of local authorities.  Technical assistance
components will be incorporated into large-scale capital investment
projects in order to boost the capacity of local counterpart
institutions and strengthen their technical, financial and managerial
capabilities.  The United Nations system will also support ongoing
Palestinian initiatives in decentralized planning and financing for
development.  In addition, the United Nations will support policy
dialogue between the local authorities and Palestinian Authority
ministries on issues of local governance and decentralization.  

156.     Another critical element in ensuring the proper development
of public sector institutions is to develop cohesive and equitable
legal and judicial frameworks.  The Palestinian Authority has stated
its intention of establishing a legal reform committee in 1996, which
will formulate a phased action plan for legal reform.  Owing to the
relatively high level of expertise in human rights, legal reform and
the rule of law in Palestinian civil society, the United Nations
system will support projects that will channel this expertise from the
non-governmental sector to the official sector.  The United Nations
will promote the rationalization and reform of the legal system to
conform with international standards, the independent administration
of justice, promotion of the rule of law and training of criminal
justice personnel.  The legal environment surrounding private sector
investment should also receive priority attention. 

157.     Another aim of the United Nations strategy is to strengthen
Palestinian capacity for aid coordination and management.  Support
from the United Nations can be provided to the Palestinian Authority
by a whole range of aid coordination and management processes, such as
the project formulation and implementation cycle, the assessment of
capital and technical assistance needs, the integration of aid flows
into the central planning process and the establishment of
relationships with donor institutions.

158.     A central objective of United Nations support for
institutional development is to facilitate the progressive inclusion
of the West Bank and Gaza Strip into regional and subregional spheres. 
The United Nations system will encourage regional networking,
utilizing the established field office network of United Nations
organizations throughout the Arab States, as well as the exchange of
technical expertise within the region.  The utilization of qualified
expatriate Palestinian expertise will also be encouraged.

159.     Throughout its various activities in support of institution-
building, the United Nations system will support and complement the
institutional development strategy currently being prepared by the
World Bank.  The efforts of the United Nations system will aim at
shaping a coherent programme of complementary activities leading to
the improvement of Palestinian institutional capacities.

          F.  United Nations assistance to private sector development

                                1.  Background

160.     The gross domestic product (GDP) of the West Bank and Gaza
Strip has been estimated at $2.6 billion, compared to $5.2 billion for
Jordan and $65 billion for Israel (indicative figures for 1993).  By
1995, the preliminary estimated GDP had grown to $3.5 billion,
according to the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Finance.  According
to World Bank estimates, the service sector accounts for nearly 50 per
cent of GDP; agriculture for less than 30 per cent; construction for
14 per cent; and industry for only 8 per cent.  One of the major
structural imbalances of the Palestinian economy is its low degree of
industrialization when compared to other economies at similar income
levels.  The private sector has accounted for about 85 per cent on
average of the West Bank and Gaza Strip GDP in recent years.  This
unusually large share of GDP reflected the absence of a well-developed
public sector prior to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority
in May 1994. 

161.     The per capita GDP of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is
estimated at $1,700, according to a report prepared by the Palestinian
Authority in collaboration with IMF and the World Bank.  Although
recent figures are fragmented and incomplete, Palestinian Authority
estimates suggest that GDP grew by 7.3 per cent in real terms in 1994
but by only 3.5 per cent in 1995.  More importantly, the gross
national product (GNP), which, in addition to domestic output and
income, takes into account income earned outside the West Bank and
Gaza Strip, notably in Israel, is estimated to have grown by less than
3 per cent in real terms during 1994, owing mainly to a loss in
employment opportunities for Palestinian workers in Israel.  In
addition, owing to a further heavy loss in 1995, remittances earned
outside the West Bank and Gaza Strip are estimated to have declined
further, resulting in a fall of the order of 3 per cent of the GNP in
real terms for that year.  With a population growth rate of about
4 per cent per annum (excluding immigration), the West Bank and Gaza
Strip per capita GNP would have declined in 1995 by nearly 7 per cent.

162.     At the end of 1995, the Palestinian Authority, with the
assistance of IMF, projected that during 1996, real GDP growth would
increase by approximately 5 per cent and that the GNP would grow by
6.2 per cent.  As a result of the extended closure that began in
February 1996, the Palestinian Authority and IMF have revised these
projections.  Depending on the rate at which trade flows return to
pre-closure levels and the possibility of labourers returning to their
work in Israel, revised projections predict a loss of up to $800
million in GNP over the course of 1996.

163.     Years of conflict and instability have created an inhibitive
investment environment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  Since the
1970s, private sector investment has been constrained, partially as a
result of prolonged security-related closures.  Over recent years,
85 per cent of investment has gone into construction, primarily
housing, one of the few secure areas of investment open to local
investors.  According to the World Bank, over 20 per cent of GDP has
been invested in the housing sector, with less than 4 per cent
invested in productive assets. 

                            2.  Assistance provided

164.     UNDP has supported initiatives in the fields of management
assistance, technical training, improved marketing facilities and
credit and capital assistance.  Several technical and capital
assistance projects have been implemented in support of private sector
initiatives, in particular through cooperatives (in the areas of
citrus processing, vegetable packaging and fisheries).  Modest
assistance to business development occurred through the provision of
advisory services, training and the strengthening of vocational
training centres in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  UNDP has also
financed industrial sub-sector reviews and analyses through a
non-governmental organization in Gaza.

165.     During the second half of 1995, UNDP supported programme
formulations in agricultural and tourism development in conjunction
with FAO and the World Tourism Organization (WTO), respectively.  UNDP
also prepared a proposal for the provision of technical support for
the planning of the proposed Nablus municipal industrial estate. 
Technical assistance programmes addressing priority needs, jointly
identified with the Palestinian Authority, were also launched in 1996. 
These programmes are intended to support the establishment of legal
and institutional frameworks conducive to the development of the
private sector and investment in agriculture and tourism.  

166.     UNRWA established its ongoing income generation programme in
the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in 1991, in the form of three
revolving loan funds, to assist small businesses in both the formal
and informal sectors of the economy.  The aim of the programme is to
stimulate employment opportunities by promoting the creation and
expansion of businesses, primarily in the manufacturing and other
productive sectors of the economy.  The programme, which also provides
management support and training for entrepreneurs, has been successful
so far in maintaining a high repayment rate.  Since 1991, a total of
$7.76 million has been disbursed to 1,993 businesses.  The recent
prolonged closure has led to an increase in demand for working capital
loans but a decrease in demand for capital investment loans.

167.     Within the framework of a programme of action formulated
through its 1993 multidisciplinary mission, ILO initiated a project to
strengthen the capacity of private contractors to carry out their
business more efficiently.  This project was formulated in
consultation with the relevant Palestinian authorities and
institutions and is scheduled to be launched in 1996.  ILO has also
developed a project to assist the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and
Agriculture in enhancing their services to small enterprises. 
Technical advisory services were also provided by ILO to formulate a
project for establishing a national small business council.  Other
activities undertaken by ILO include assistance in developing a labour
code, a project designed to build the capacity of the Palestinian
Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture and a
programme for strengthening workers' organizations.  ILO also fielded
technical advisory missions in vocational training, which led to the
formulation of a project proposal to upgrade facilities and staff, as
well as modernize programmes at vocational training centres.

168.     UNCTAD has carried out a number of studies on issues facing
the Palestinian economy.  Within the framework of its programme of
technical cooperation activities in support of Palestinian trade,
finance and related services, and in response to the request of the
Palestinian Authority for urgent technical assistance, a number of
technical cooperation activities were carried out during 1995 and the
first quarter of 1996.  UNCTAD has developed proposals for follow-up
action in the areas of procurement of strategic consumer commodities
and trade efficiency and facilitation, and for the encouragement of
private investment law and the establishment and operation of export
processing zones.  A programme of follow-up activities is also being
prepared for the reorientation of the insurance sector.

169.     In the period 1993-1994, ITC carried out a number of
programming missions, with the aim of assessing potential and needs in
the foreign trade sector and formulating appropriate technical
cooperation projects.  Based on the findings and recommendations of
these missions, ITC developed an integrated project aimed at assisting
the Palestinian export community by strengthening the Palestinian
Trade Promotion Organization.  ITC also carried out a feasibility
study for the development of exports of selected high-value, fresh-cut
flowers.  Based on that study, a technical cooperation project aimed
at assisting agricultural cooperatives, growers and marketing
enterprises, has been developed.  ITC has also prepared a proposal for
assisting in the establishment of industrial zones in the West Bank
and Gaza Strip.

170.     UNIDO has had a long involvement in assisting industrial
development in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  UNIDO has developed its
programming strategy for services to the Palestinian people which
calls for the provision of technical assistance in the areas of
private sector development for industry, human resources development, small-
 and medium-sized enterprises and advanced technologies.  Within this
framework, in 1995, UNIDO implemented training activities and
formulation missions aimed at developing full-fledged programmes in
priority areas.

171.     FAO and ESCWA undertook several joint agricultural sector
studies in 1993 and 1994.  For 1996, FAO has formulated projects for
capacity-building in agricultural policy analysis and planning, and
agro-processing.  ESCWA has also addressed the need to develop
entrepreneurship through the training of trainers and potential
entrepreneurs.  In 1995, ESCWA developed further proposals for the
establishment of pilot business and technology incubation centres in
the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 

                          3.  Main development needs

172.     In its overall development strategy, the Palestinian
Authority has identified the private sector as the principal engine
for growth, development and employment generation.  The Palestinian
Authority's strategy for private sector development has three broad
thrusts:  the creation of an enabling environment and basic
infrastructure for industry, agriculture and tourism; promotion of
medium-term lending, particularly for small business and for farming
activities; and promotion of private sector participation in
infrastructure development.

173.     The strategy for the development of the industrial sector
calls for a distinction to be made between the needs of large- and
medium-scale enterprises, which are primarily export-oriented, and the
needs of small-scale and micro-enterprises, which account for over
90 per cent of industrial employment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 
For large- and medium-scale enterprises, the strategy emphasizes the
establishment of industrial estates, an investment promotion
programme, facilities for political risk insurance, an export
development programme, and clarification and modernization of the
legal and regulatory framework.  For small-scale and micro-
enterprises, the strategy calls for the development of municipal
industrial complexes, incubator and business support services, and 
the promotion of leasing, venture capital and small credit schemes.

174.     The revival of the agricultural sector also features
prominently in the Palestinian Authority's strategy for private sector
development.  The major features of the strategy are to support
private sector farming activities through improved legal, regulatory
and institutional frameworks, to enhance the efficiency of traditional
and domestic market-oriented agriculture, to enhance the efficiency
and competitiveness of intensive and export-oriented agriculture and
to improve access to regional and international markets.

175.     Tourism development can also contribute to private sector
development.  The West Bank and Gaza Strip, endowed with unique
cultural and historical assets, have the potential to become major
tourist destinations.  The Palestinian Authority's strategy is to
promote and market the area as a tourism destination and to integrate
the area into global marketing systems; to assist in the development
of tourism and related industries; and to improve training and human
resources development.

176.     However, there still exist constraints to the development of
the private sector in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip that constitute
obstacles to the implementation of the Palestinian Authority's
strategy.  These include the volatile security environment; the lack
of clear and predictable legal, regulatory and administrative
frameworks; and, most importantly, the frequent closure of the West
Bank and Gaza Strip, severely affecting access to supplies, capital
and the labour market in Israel and preventing the transfer of
Palestinian produce, products and services. 

                    4.  Integrated United Nations approach

177.     United Nations initiatives have been developed in light of
the Palestinian Authority's strategies and priorities, and
implementing agencies will act in partnership with specialized
institutions.  United Nations assistance to private sector development
will complement World Bank efforts, the main aim of which is the
establishment of legal and regulatory frameworks for private sector
development and, the development of border and local industrial
estates.  The United Nations will implement this strategy primarily
through the provision of specialized advisory services, technical
assistance and training to private, public and semi-public entities. 
Special attention will be given to the environmental soundness of the
proposed development models; the creation of local capacities at the
public and private sector levels which can, in the future, sustain
development efforts and momentum; the utilization, whenever available,
of local Palestinian capacities; and the incorporation of women and
marginalized groups in mainstream economic development. 

178.     Human resources development should be strengthened to support
emerging industries in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to respond
effectively to the challenges of industrial development.  The United
Nations can assist in the formulation of policies and strategies for
human resources development, based on an analysis of existing
capacities and requirements, and assist institutions in providing
technical, managerial and entrepreneurial training.  UNIDO will
develop a series of projects aimed at establishing and strengthening
those institutions which specialize in industrial and vocational

179.     The development of the labour market in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip is being addressed through ongoing ILO projects aimed at
improving the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Labour.  ILO
has already carried out some training activities and assisted the
vocational training system, and its assistance will be further
strengthened to support the authorities to respond better to labour
market needs.  Work on the preparation of labour statistics is already
under way, and ILO will be formulating further interventions to
develop reliable labour statistics to help monitor employment
programmes and policies undertaken through the Palestinian employment
programme.  Utilizing its unique tripartite mandate, ILO will assist
Palestinian institutions to set-up effective structures and mechanisms
to facilitate social dialogue, and design and implement projects aimed
at assisting both employers and trade unions.  ILO will also continue
to assist the Ministry of Labour in establishing a labour code for the
proper functioning of the private sector.

180.     ITC interventions in the foreign trade sector will include
advice to the Palestinian Authority on appropriate strategies and the
establishment of an institutional infrastructure for trade development
and promotion.  ITC will also provide technical assistance in the
field of private sector investment, and UNDP will support the
Palestinian Authority in establishing a legal and regulatory framework
conducive to such investment, particularly foreign direct investment.
UNIDO will provide training in the area of investment promotion and
will assist Palestinian entrepreneurs in identifying foreign investors
for joint venture projects.

181.     On the basis of two studies on the development and expansion
of the Palestinian economy, UNCTAD will expand its current programme
of technical cooperation.  In addition, UNCTAD will endeavour to
strengthen the legal and institutional frameworks of the private

182.     Entrepreneurship and small business development is an
important area for private sector development and employment
generation.  The United Nations system will continue to implement a
plan of action to develop a conducive environment for entrepreneurship
and self employment.  ESCWA has formulated project proposals for the
establishment of business and technology incubators to nurture new
manufacturing start-ups, an area which UNDP is also ready to support. 
UNIDO and ILO are proposing to strengthen the capacities of the
Chambers of Commerce and Industry.  UNIDO is also proposing to provide
support for the development of small- and medium-scale industrial
enterprises.  ILO will launch a project aimed at revitalizing the
small business sector and is also proposing to provide support for the
establishment of a Palestinian small business council.  UNRWA intends
to expand its training programmes to support potential entrepreneurs,
particularly women's and social groups affected by unemployment. 
UNESCO will further develop its programme for the promotion of
handicrafts, the main beneficiaries of which are women.  UNV will
provide short-term advisory services through UNITAR to assist private
enterprises in the areas of management, strategic planning, etc. 
UNIFEM is planning to carry out exploratory activities for the
development of a programme for the economic empowerment of women,
while the Department for Development Support and Management Services
is preparing to assist small business promotion.

183.     UNIDO is proposing interventions aimed at facilitating access
by enterprises to industrial support services, including support for
the establishment of a Palestinian standards organization and support
for the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in the preparation of
an industrial census.  UNDP intends to expand its participation in the
development of industrial zones in close cooperation with the World
Bank and utilizing the specialized services of UNCTAD.  In this
context, UNDP will finance feasibility studies to identify off-site
infrastructural requirements and may undertake the required
infrastructural construction. 

184.     The development of tourism is potentially a major area of
private sector growth.  UNDP will, in complementarity with UNESCO
activities in this sector, call upon the technical expertise of WTO to
strengthen tourism institutions, in particular the Ministry of Tourism
and Antiquities.  The proposed focus will be the establishment of a
legal, institutional and financial environment conducive to private
sector investment in the tourism sector, and the promotion of
Palestinian cultural heritage.  UNV will provide technical assistance
to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities through the provision of

185.     Concerning agriculture, United Nations assistance will follow
a multi-track approach aimed at strengthening the institutional
capacity of the Palestinian Authority for agricultural development;
supporting sustainable natural resources management policies and
practices; revitalizing support services to agricultural
entrepreneurs; developing the sector's human resources and encouraging
the competitiveness of agricultural products; and supporting the
rehabilitation of essential rural physical infrastructures. 

186.     On the basis of an initial phase launched in 1996, UNDP,
utilizing the technical expertise of FAO, is proposing to expand its
support to the Ministry of Agriculture through a project aimed at
enhancing the institutional, managerial and technical capabilities of
the Ministry in the area of policy analysis and planning.  In order to
enhance agricultural production through the spread of technologies,
genotypes and information to farmers, UNDP is formulating a project
aimed at supporting the Palestinian Authority in defining and
implementing appropriate and responsive policies and strategies for
applied research and demand-driven extension.  Several studies carried
out by FAO in recent years have targeted rehabilitation needs in the
fisheries sector and veterinary services, as well as the
rehabilitation of artesian wells, springs and related irrigation
canals.  In order to ensure that Palestinian agricultural products
conform to international standards, UNDP has formulated an action
programme for the testing and control of agricultural produce for
pesticide residues.



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Date last posted: 28 December 1999 17:35:10
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