Canadian international assistance in the West Bank and Gaza

Canadian foreign policy objectives in the Middle East are the foundation for international assistance programming in the West Bank and Gaza. Canada is committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. This goal supports the creation of a viable, independent and democratic Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel. Canada believes that peace can only be achieved through a two-state solution negotiated directly between the parties.

Canada is committed to helping Palestinians. International assistance in the West Bank and Gaza reinforces Canadian diplomatic efforts to support the establishment of a law-based, peaceful and prosperous society. Ultimately, this society can become a state for the Palestinians and a stable and secure neighbour for Israel.

The 4.8 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza face significant governance, economic and humanitarian challenges. A quarter of the population lives in poverty. Food insecurity and unemployment are widespread. The private sector is relatively uncompetitive and unable to generate sufficient jobs or tax revenues. Significant humanitarian needs exist in the West Bank and Gaza. The summer 2014 conflict in Gaza worsened an already-fragile situation.

Progress is constrained by challenges related to internal Palestinian divisions and the unresolved conflict with Israel. The ability of the Palestinian Authority to govern is restricted by its limited jurisdiction over much of the West Bank and Gaza. In addition, Palestinian development is highly dependent on donors.

Our international development assistance

Search the Project Browser to see what Canada is doing to support development in the West Bank and Gaza.

Canada supports efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance, stimulate economic growth, and promote the rule of law.

Humanitarian assistance

Canada’s programming helps to meet the humanitarian needs of vulnerable Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Canada is also supporting vulnerable Palestinian refugees through the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

Key anticipated results:

Increasing economic opportunities

Economic prosperity and private sector growth are important for stability. Canada’s investments are working to increase economic opportunities and prosperity for Palestinians, especially women and youth. This includes efforts to reduce barriers to entrepreneurship, employment, and employability.

Key anticipated results:

Justice reform

Canada is investing in justice reform in the West Bank. This helps to build a law-based, peaceful society that responds to the needs and aspirations of Palestinians. Canada supports efforts to improve the capacity of justice institutions to promote the rule of law and human rights.

Key anticipated results:


For all humanitarian and development assistance funding for Palestinians, Canada exercises enhanced due diligence. 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.

Progress on aid effectiveness

The Palestinian Authority released its “National Policy Agenda” for 2017-2022 in early 2017. The priority areas include government reform and sustainable development. Regular consultation with the Palestinian Authority and other stakeholders ensures that Canada’s international assistance remains aligned with Palestinian priorities.

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