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The United States is the leading provider of bilateral development assistance to the Palestinians, having provided $4.2 billion since 1994 for programs in the areas of democracy and governance; education; health and humanitarian assistance; private enterprise; and water resources and infrastructure.
U.S. foreign assistance is part of the United States’ two-track approach to Middle East peace, which couples resumed political negotiations to establish a Palestinian state with support for the Palestinian state-building initiative through U.S. foreign assistance. USAID’s efforts help to build a more democratic, stable, and secure region, benefiting Palestinians, Israelis, and Americans.
Democracy and Governance
USAID supports the development of Palestinian institutions necessary for a future Palestinian state by promoting the rule of law, increasing civic engagement, and enhancing respect for human rights. These initiatives will help enhance the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) ability to serve effectively as a governing body by supporting its capacity to meet constituents’ needs.
USAID also supports Conflict Management and Mitigation (CMM) grants as part of a congressionally mandated effort to support people-to-people reconciliation activities that bring together individuals of different ethnic, religious or political backgrounds from areas of conflict to address the root causes of tension and instability. Along with the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, USAID has supported 69 CMM grants for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza since 2004.
USAID provides assistance to Palestinian enterprises to create jobs and help them pursue opportunities in domestic and regional markets. Projects increase the availability of investment capital; provide targeted technical assistance and access to improved technologies and management skills; improve the movement of people and cargo through crossing points between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza; and eliminate regulatory constraints by developing partnerships between the private sector and the Palestinian Authority.
USAID supports the Palestinian Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education through programs that improve teaching methodologies, introduce contemporary approaches to teaching and learning strategies and expand the impact of early childhood programming. For high school students and new graduates, USAID supports increased access to educational opportunities and community-based youth programs that educate and train Palestinian youth.
Health and Humanitarian Assistance
USAID responds to health challenges by strengthening health care systems, providing medical equipment, and expanding access to high-quality medical facilities. USAID also supports the Palestinian health sector by renovating facilities that provide health services to beneficiaries. USAID helps strengthen the institutional capacities of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and local non-governmental organizations, so that the Palestinian health system increasingly can be capable of meeting the health needs of all Palestinians rather than have to make expensive referrals to neighboring countries.
Water and Infrastructure
USAID is strengthening the Palestinian Water Authority’s capacity to better operate and maintain its growing water system through improving systems, training and hands-on technical assistance. This effort, together with the rehabilitation of old and leaking pipelines, will reduce water losses and improve the sustainable use of limited resources for the growing Palestinian population. Since 1994, USAID has been one of the largest donors in the infrastructure sector in the West Bank and Gaza. Projects include the construction and rehabilitation of water systems and distribution networks, roads, sanitation systems, clinics, schools and other community facilities.
Last updated: January 20, 2015
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