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Source: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
4 May 2015

Press Release
UNDP Launches Palestinian Human Development Report
Enhancing the Capacity of Palestinians to Persevere

Ramallah, 04 May 2015 – Palestinian human development is heavily impeded by the occupation and factors that adversely influence human security, as well as economic, social and environmental predictability, according to the latest Palestinian Human Development Report, released today by Lead Author Dr Salam Fayyad and UNDP’s Special Representative of the Administrator, Frode Mauring.

The Palestinian Human Development Report “Development for Empowerment” examines the status of human development in the State of Palestine by highlighting key trends in demography, economy and employment, poverty, education and health.

Moving forward, the report argues that national policies must be developed to ensure perseverant human development in spite of, and as a critical part of ending, the occupation. Palestinian policies should focus on disproportionately impacted groups and communities, with interventions to facilitate conditions for empowerment: active participation, adequate access to services and information, accountability, and local organizing capacity, to name a few.

“This holds true always and everywhere,” said Lead Author Fayyad. “In the Palestinian context, it is an act of empowerment, as it is an enabler in the quest for a state that is worthy of the aspirations and great many sacrifices of the Palestinian people,” he added.

Speaking at the launch, Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator, pointed out that the Human Development Report has become an essential instrument for assessing progress and future policies. “ The report we are launching today recognizes that people and their true empowerment must be at the centre of any nation’s endeavour that aims to achieve lasting, holistic and sustainable peace and development,” he added.

The theme of the report “Development for Empowerment” was chosen 10 years after the 2004 Human Development Report to take stock of the path to Palestinian empowerment, especially that the previous report described the Palestinian people as suffering from a “poverty of disempowerment”.

Despite being home to the most literate population in the Arab world, for example, a deficient labour force and an undiversified economy continue to limit the ability of many Palestinians to rise out of hardship and deliver on their full potential.

It is worth noting that the State of Palestine’s HDI score for 2014 was 0.686. This placed it in the “medium human development” category and at 107th out of 187 countries and territories indexed overall. This ranks Palestine near the top of the “medium human development” category.

It scored higher than the calculated average for the Arab country region in health and education, but it fell significantly below other Arab countries in the “decent standard of living” measure of GNI (average of USD 15,817 per capita).

The 2014 Palestinian Human Development Report is the sixth Report of its kind. This independent report was commissioned by UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People with the aim to be a catalyst for a renewed public conversation about human development. The authors anticipate that the report will influence policy debates by presenting accessible and accurate data and analysis on development issues in the state of Palestine.

Contact Information

Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: For more information on UNDP/PAPP see

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