Highlighted results

More than 100,000 people gained access to improved water sources and sanitation services in Gaza and the West Bank.

Legal aid, consultation and mediation created access to justice for approximately 10,000 people, most of them women.

1,500 young Gazans (men and women – almost 50-50%) obtained short- and long-term employment and professional training in the IT sector

More than 10,000 Palestinian farmers put their land to sustainable use and agri-businesses have become more competitive.

Introduction

In the Palestinian Territories, the Netherlands’ overall objective is to create a more enabling environment for conflict resolution and to realise a two-state solution, in which an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state is achieved, with access to its own (natural) resources, alongside a secure, internationally recognised Israel.

The reporting period of 2017-2018 was a difficult time for the Palestinian Territories, with flare-ups of violence in Gaza, the US and Israeli decisions to withdraw funds from UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority, the increasingly dire situation in Gaza, continuation of settlement expansion, the lack of success in reconciliation between the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank and Gaza, and the limited short-to-medium-term prospects for peace.

Our activities focused on Security and Rule of Law (strengthening the countervailing power of civil society and Access to Justice), economic development (creating job opportunities for Palestinians in the IT sector and agriculture) and trade (finding practical solutions to remove barriers to trade, including lowering transaction costs for Palestinian businesses). Our efforts in the water sector focused on service delivery to marginalised and underserved communities and on waste water. In the field of food and nutrition security, our priority was to enable farmers to better cultivate their land and create stronger agro-businesses.

Results 2018

The Netherlands’ interventions have led to more jobs in IT and agriculture; more opportunities for export and lower transaction costs for businesses; larger areas of land being used for agriculture; more farmers becoming proud owners of agri-businesses; more people gaining access to safe drinking water and the safe disposal of waste water; more people gaining access to justice and stronger civil society organisations holding the authorities to account; more Palestinians able to file complaints about human rights violations; and more people-to-people contacts between Palestinians and Israelis.

Results by theme

Security and Rule of Law Water Food security Private sector development

Featured project Palestinian Territories

Gaza Sky Geeks - the first tech hub in Gaza

Finding work and earning a living is difficult when you live in Gaza. Movement and access are restricted but the internet is powerful and lots of talented university graduates, men and women, are keen to start a career in IT. Gaza Sky Geeks is the first tech hub in Gaza. Its co-working space, start-up accelerator and technology education bring together online freelancers, outsourcers and start-up founders. In this reporting period, the Netherlands supported Gaza Sky Geeks in creating a dozen paid jobs for graduates of its coding academy, almost 1,500 freelance assignments and 26 jobs at its start-ups. More than USD 300,000 was earned by young Gazans graduates of the Freelance Academy and two start-ups managed to secure investments of more than USD 100,000 starting capital in their companies. In a region in which 53% of the population lives below the poverty line (OCHA statistics, June 2018), initiatives like Gaza Sky Geeks contribute significantly to employment prospects and economic development.

Security and Rule of Law

The results in context

Despite the ongoing efforts of the executive authority in the Palestinian Territories to dominate in the justice sector, the Netherlands’ Rule of Law programmes continued to achieve the expected results. For example:

• In Gaza in 2017, almost 7,000 people were provided with legal representation, consultation and mediation services, 65% of which were women. The following testimony was provided by women in Gaza who benefited from legal aid and services at the Aisha association: ‘There were long distances between us and our rights before we received the legal awareness services. We now know how to access and protect our rights, unlike before, as our life was divided into three spaces: parents’ house, marital house and the grave’.

• Over the reporting period, AMAN continued to win the trust of Palestinian citizens in reporting suspected corruption and seeking help after exposing a corruption case. This led to an increase of 37% in reported corruption complaints.

• Dutch support to civil society organisations created more than 20 instances in which the organisation’s position or recommendations on key policy issues were adopted or referenced by different duty bearers or influential stakeholders.

• During the reporting period, the Palestinian International Commission for Human Rights registered 573 torture complaints (289 in the West Bank and 284 in the Gaza Strip), addressing 65.3% with satisfactory results and 28% with non-satisfactory results, while 2.6% of cases received no co-operation from the related authorities.

• Dutch support in the area of reconciliation helped to bring together more than 200 Israelis and Palestinians across the Green Line, which helped to create mutual understanding and trust in support of building a more conducive environment for peace building efforts. In addition, 30 professionals received cultural competence training, 54 received human rights and democracy training and 24 individuals were extensively trained in mediation skills. These interactions continue to be difficult and highly sensitive in the current political climate, which sometimes leads to sessions and workshops attracting fewer participants than expected.

Water

The results in context

Over the course of the reporting period, the Netherlands helped around 100,000 Palestinians to access sustainable (waste)water services. The Netherlands’ interventions take a comprehensive approach, tackling multiple aspects of the chain that contribute to sound water management. Large infrastructure projects for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of (waste)water systems are ongoing in Gaza and Bethlehem, where 80% of the work has been completed. Through smaller water-infrastructure projects, we reached 66 off-grid households with improved water services. Infrastructural work is complemented by technical training and capacity development, and addresses the problems of non-revenue water and unequal distribution. As a result, the percentage of non-revenue water was reduced from 42% (post-war 2014) to 34% in Gaza. Adequate energy supply to (waste)water facilities in the Gaza Strip remains a concern. As a direct result of Dutch efforts to mobilise international support for the Gas4Gaza initiative, the EU has confirmed its political support and is looking into possibilities for financing.

At the academic level, projects to develop relevant knowledge, policies, practices and technologies for the sustainable management of water and environmental issues are ongoing. These activities enhance the capacity of academic institutions in water-related topics. Five large integrated research projects have been launched. Another academic project, which focuses on the safe and productive use of treated wastewater, focused its first year’s results on preparatory work for the establishment of a self-sustained laboratory that will monitor pollutants in water.

In addition to financial and technical support, the Netherlands assumed the role of Deputy Chair of the water sector in a forum that aims to reinforce the partnership between the Palestinian Water Authority and the international community to jointly build a strong and sustainable water sector. In our policy discussions, we encourage the Palestinian Authority to continue to implement the envisaged water sector reforms to effectively address the challenges faced by the Palestinian water sector.

Lack of control over and access to water resources and disagreement between the parties on water management in line with the Oslo Accords further exasperate the implications of (clean) water shortages. The Netherlands hosted trilateral (Israel, Palestinian Authority, Netherlands) meetings to seek technical solutions to the Palestinian challenges in the water sector.

Food security

The results in context

With Dutch support, our project partners are working directly with farmers, but also with co-operatives, agri-businesses, research institutes and the government. The Netherlands helps Palestinian farmers put their land to sustainable and economically viable use, helps agri-businesses become more competitive and supports the control and prevention of plant diseases in the West Bank and Gaza. The latter includes finding ways to facilitate the exit of non-sensitive processed foods from Gaza to the West Bank, for instance.

With support from the Netherlands, a total of 960 hectares of farmland was converted to sustainable use. The number of family farms that doubled their productivity and/or income amounted to roughly 10,000, while the number of jobs supported in agricultural chains/sectors increased to around 1,200 and the number of people that enjoyed (more) secure tenure rights to land rose to about 500.

Private sector development

The results in context

With support from the Netherlands, Gaza Sky Geeks, the first tech hub in Gaza, is well on track to reach its goals and ambitions. Despite the severe day-to-day conditions that Gazan people face, Gaza Sky Geeks is able to offer its members skills and practical tools to help them find both short-term and long-term employment. Gaza Sky Geeks trains people in IT skills that the employment market demands in both the Palestinian Territories and abroad. Through its Digital Agency, young men and women are connected to clients within and outside the Palestinian Territories.

Put in numbers, this means that Dutch support over the reporting period has helped 13 graduates of the Coding Academy to find employment on paid projects. In addition, 1,477 freelance assignments were cumulatively attained by freelance mentorship trainees and 26 jobs were created by start-ups in the Gaza Sky Geeks programme. A cumulative total of 145 trained professionals graduated from the Freelance Academy, collectively earning more than USD 315,000, and two Gazan start-ups received seed or follow-up investment offers with USD 120,000 disbursed to them. This type of financing is very hard to come by in the Gazan start-up scene.

Additional sources

Results Water

Download PDF with results for Water in Palestinian Territories

Results Food security

Download PDF with results for Food security in Palestinian Territories

Results Private sector development

Download PDF with results for Private sector development in Palestinian Territories

Expenditure by channel

Expenditure

Expenditure by theme

Expenditure