Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP)

The Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP) – directly linked to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – began to work in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in 1980 and has grown steadily.

The PAPP articulates around the themes of sustainable human development, poverty elimination, environment protection and gender in development. Its main areas of interventions include agriculture, water and sanitation, health, education, public administration, employment generation, tourism, industry, local governance, and rural development. It has a broad-based team of engineers, programme officers and administrative staff, most of whom are highly trained Palestinians, who support the Palestinian Authority and civil society organizations in identifying, negotiating, designing and implementing projects.

Since the Programme’s beginning, expenditures have risen from $0.5 million per year to over $52 million in 1996 with total approved project budgets of over $100 million in 1997. In recent years, UNDP’s funds have been supplemented by contributions from various donors, including Canada, Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and organizations such as the Arab Gulf Fund, and by partnership arrangements for its programme activities with other UN organizations, such as UNSCO*, UNRWA*, UNFPA, ILO, UNICEF, FAO, WTO, UNESCO, UNCTAD and the UNCDF, in addition to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) who is supporting activities in the area implemented by PAPP.

Because of its long-standing working experience in the area, PAPP has been able to use and apply UN regulations in the implementation of both capital and technical assistance projects using fully transparent and reliable financial mechanisms that can readily and quickly be made available to donors to facilitate the delivery of development assistance.

The scope of the PAPP has expanded to provide Palestinians with infrastructure, large scale training projects, and technical assistance for institution building. Many of the activities supported by PAPP are now directed at strengthening Palestinian institutions and creating employment opportunities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Since 1994, with the advancement in the peace process, the Palestinian Authority and its component ministries and central-level institutions, in cooperation with civil society organizations, the private sector and municipalities, became PAPP’s main counterparts for the design, planning and implementation of development projects which seek to:

  • develop capacity for Palestinian sustainable human development, in order to address the needs of marginalized and vulnerable groups;
  • develop Palestinian institutional capacity;
  • support Palestinian economic and social development, particularly in the fields of agriculture, industry, trade and tourism.

In its 17 years of work in the Occupied Palestinian territories PAPP has, among others:

  • built numerous sewage collection and water supply networks and systems in the West Bank and Gaza Strip;
  • helped develop Palestinian institutional capacities through providing start-up cost assistance to over 15 Palestinian Authority ministries, and programmes like the Transfer of Knowledge Though Expatriate Nationals Programme (TOKTEN) and the Local Rural Development Programme (LRDP);
  • built new schools, and constructed additional classrooms;
  • promoted the role of Palestinian women in the society and in the decision making process;
  • constructed additional hospital wings and new clinics and helped equip existing health facilities;
  • developed emergency and medium-term employment generation programmes;
  • assisted in the development of the Palestinian agricultural sector through capital and technical assistance programmes;
  • constructed 256 housing units.
  • supported tourism and the Bethlehem 2000 events; and
  • facilitated the production of the first Palestinian Human Development Profile.

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