Results around the world – West Bank and Gaza
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza face significant governance, economic, humanitarian, and peace and security challenges, including significant gender inequality. A quarter of the population lives in poverty. Food insecurity and violence are widespread, and Palestinians face unemployment rates that are among the highest in the world, with women and youth particularly affected. The private sector is unable to generate sufficient jobs or tax revenues. Significant humanitarian needs exist in Gaza and, to a lesser extent, in the West Bank. Progress toward peace is constrained by challenges related to internal Palestinian divisions and the unresolved conflict with Israel. The Palestinian Authority current lacks control of Gaza, and its ability to govern is restricted by its limited jurisdiction over much of the West Bank. In addition, Palestinian development is highly dependent on donors.
Canada’s international assistance is intended to address the development and humanitarian needs of vulnerable Palestinians, while advancing the cause of peace, by supporting the Palestinian people to build conditions that are necessary for a two-state solution. Based on its Feminist International Assistance Policy, Canada seeks to prioritize investments that have the greatest potential to close gender gaps, eliminate barriers to gender equality, and empower Palestinian women and girls.
Canada’s international assistance in support of the Palestinian population is centred on two main objectives: sustaining the resilience of the poorest and most vulnerable Palestinians (by protecting human dignity and fostering growth that works for everyone); and supporting Palestinian institutions (by promoting inclusive governance, and peace and security). To deliver on these objectives, Canada will continue to work with civil society partners, the private sector, United Nations agencies and other international organizations, and with the Palestinian Authority. These objectives also support Canadian diplomatic efforts by helping to establish a law-based, peaceful and prosperous society that can ultimately become a state for the Palestinians and a stable and secure neighbour for Israel.
Canada exercises enhanced due diligence for all humanitarian and development assistance funding provided to Palestinians. This includes ongoing oversight, regular site visits, a systematic screening process, and strong anti-terrorism provisions in funding agreements. These measures are in place to ensure that funds are not misused or diverted to terrorist groups.
- By supporting vulnerable Palestinian refugees through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Canada contributed to providing education to more than 526,000 children (with full gender parity) and over 8.3 million primary health-care consultations (including reproductive health). In addition, Canada supported social safety net assistance to over 255,000 individuals.
- Through the World Food Programme, Canada supported the distribution of nutritious food or electronic food vouchers to poor households in the West Bank and Gaza, benefiting over 200,000 of the most vulnerable Palestinians. The distribution of food vouchers allowed them to purchase locally produced nutritious foods from local shops, creating secondary economic benefits.
- Through the United Nations Population Fund, Canada supported the opening of a safe space for women and girls subjected to gender-based violence (GBV) in the old city of Hebron in the West Bank. This centre helps GBV survivors obtain psychosocial counselling and referrals.
- Through Humanity & Inclusion Canada, Canada supported the provision of assistance to persons with disabilities in Gaza. This included almost 42,900 rehabilitation sessions for 1,800 people with disabilities; 590 assistive devices allowing persons with disabilities increased mobility in their daily lives; and improved education resources for over 330 children with disabilities and over 65 teachers. In addition, through Save the Children Canada, Canadian assistance provided health services such as periodic medical checkups, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychosocial support for over 950 children with disabilities and chronic diseases.
- Through EcoPeace Middle East, Canada supported joint Israeli-Palestinian water management in the Hebron-Negev Desert-Gaza watershed. With Canadian support, an agreement was signed between the Hebron-Yatta municipalities and the Palestinian Water Authority for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant that will reduce environmental pollution and, crucially, will contribute to easing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
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