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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
A/41/319
E/1986/72

2 May 1986

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Forty-first session
Item 12 of the preliminary list*
REPORT OF THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
Second regular session of 1986
Item 22 of the provisional agenda**
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECLARATION
ON THE GRANTING OF INDEPENDENCE
TO COLONIAL COUNTRIES AND PEOPLES
BY THE SPECIALIZED AGENCIES AND
THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
ASSOCIATED WITH THE UNITED NATIONS



Assistance to the Palestinian people

Report of the Secretary-General


CONTENTS

Paragraphs
Page
I.INTRODUCTION
    1 - 4
    3
II.ACTIVITIES OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM
    5 - 87
    3
A.United Nations
    5 - 61
    3
1.United Nations Development Programme
    5 - 14
    3
2.United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
    15 - 27
    10
3.United Nations Children's Fund
    28 - 40
    12
4.United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
    41- 47
    15
5.United Nations Fund for Population Activities
    48
    16
6.United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat)
    49 - 51
    16
7.United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
    52
    17
8.Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
    53 - 58
    17
9.United Nations Department of International Economic and Social Affairs
    59 - 60
    19
10.World Food Programme
    61
    19
B.Specialized agencies
    62 - 87
    19
1.International Labour Organisation
    62 - 69
    19
2.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    70
    20
3.United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    71
    21
4.World Health Organization
    72 - 79
    21
5.International Telecommunication Union
    80 - 81
    22
6.Universal Postal Union
    82
    23
7.World Intellectual Property Organization
    83
    23
8.United Nations Industrial Development Organization
    84 - 87
    23
III.CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS
    88
    24



I. INTRODUCTION

1. In resolution 40/170 on assistance to the Palestinian people, adopted on 17 December 1985. the General Assembly, inter alia, requested the Secretary-General to review the progress made in the implementation of the proposed activities and projects described in his previous report (A/40/353-E/l985/115/Corr.l and Add.l and Add.l/Corr.l) and to take all necessary steps to finalize the programme of economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people. The Assembly also requested the relevant programmes, organisation, agencies, funds and organs of the United Nations system to intensify their efforts, in co-operation with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), to provide economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people, and further requested that United Nations assistance to the Palestinians in the Arab host countries should be rendered in co-operation with the PLO and with the consent of the Arab host Government concerned. The Assembly further requested the Secretary-General to convene in 1986 a meeting of the relevant agencies and organisations of the United Nations system to consider economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people, and to provide for the participation therein of the PLO, the Arab host countries and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. Finally, it requested the Secretary-General to report to the Assembly at its forty-first session, through the Economic and Social Council, on the progress made in the implementation of the resolution.

2. The present report has been prepared pursuant to that resolution and contains information provided by agencies and organisations of the United Nations system. The information is presented by organization and covers their current and proposed activities in the field of economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people. Some activities, such as events organized on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, are not included.

3. It is envisaged that the meeting called for under the resolution to consider economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people will take place at Geneva at the beginning of July 1986. The Secretary-General will report thereon to the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly.

4. Any additional information received from organizations at a later stage will be issued as an addendum to the present report.

II. ACTIVITIES OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM

A. United Nations

1. United Nations Development Programme

5. The Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People, authorized on an experimental basis by the General Assembly in resolution 33/147, of 20 December 1978, commenced operational activities soon after the UNDP Governing Council approved the initial financing, management and operational proposals of the Administrator at its twenty-seventh session in .June 1980. 1/

6. By the end of the second programming cycle (1976-1981), it had become evident that meaningful assistance could, in fact, be delivered expeditiously and effectively by UNDP for the benefit of the local Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Project planning and delivery accelerated rapidly in spite of the unprecedented circumstances which required the exercise of unusual flexibility and often called for a departure from normal UNDP policies and practices. The requirement of the General Assembly and the Governing Council that all project activities be subjected to prior consultation with the parties directly concerned proved to be an essential ingredient for success, in spite of the arduous and time-consuming aspects of such a complex process.

7. During five years of the third programming cycle (1982-1986) the Programme has consolidated its early gains. Since 1980, the following nine projects, costing over $2.5 million, have been completed:

United States
dollars
PAL/79/002 -Specialized training in industrial management
    103 888
PAL/79/003 -Promotion of pre-primary education
    255 460
PAL/79/005 -Promotion of technical and vocational education
    377 222
PAL/79/008 -Development and strengthening of health institutions I
    619 220
PAL/79/009 -Specialized training programme in agricultural development
    173 664
PAL/79/014 -Training in housing
    57 856
PAL/79/018 -Children's institutions
    431 088
PAL/83/002 -Medical Services Training Centre (to be reactivated when financing is secured)
    155 307
PAL/83/006 -Development of health institutions II
    393 977
2 567 682
The following 14 projects are currently under implementation at a total cost of about $7 million:
PAL/79/001 -Identification of social and economic needs of the Palestinian people
    783 455
PAL/79/007 -Health manpower development
    859 891
PAL/79/010 -Agricultural Training Centres (Syrian Arab Republic) (FAO-executed)
    356 000
PAL/79/013 -Development of olive oil industry
    180 000
PAL/79/016 -Youth programme
    69 000
PAL/79/017 -Women's institutions
    200 000
PAL/83/001 -Specialized training in anaesthesiology
    509 320
PAL/83/003 -Sewage disposal and effluent recycling for the town of Khan Yunes
    1 070 000
PAL/83/004 -Development and strengthening of Agricultural Educational Institutions at El Aroub
    100 000
PAL/83/005 -Assistance to the fishermen in the Gaza Strip
    675 000
PAL/85/002 -Project preparation for the social and economic needs of the Palestinian people
    80 000
PAL/85/003 -Strengthening of Agriculture and Hydrology Laboratories
    60 000
PAL/85/004 -Recycling of Gaza City effluents
    1 150 000
PAL/86/001 -Strengthening of educational institutions
    850 000
6 942 666

8. By the end of 1986, the full amount of $9.5 million so far authorized by the Governing Council will be fully committed to specific projects.

9. Since 1980, UNDP has been a significant public source of substantial and direct economic and social development assistance for the benefit of the Palestinian inhabitants of the concerned territories.

10. A personal inspection visit by the Administrator to the area in February 1986 confirmed that all parties directly concerned. including most particularly the Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, view the Programme as an increasingly important factor in the efforts for development and self-sufficiency in the occupied Arab territories.

11. Although it had been anticipated at the commencement of operations of the UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People that substantial support for this Programme would be forthcoming in the form of voluntary contributions from Governments and intergovernmental institutions, experience has demonstrated that funding from UNDP central resources must be viewed as the principal and only reliable financing element. In spite of repeated appeals by the Governing Council and the General Assembly for special contributions, most potential contributors have indicated their preference for arrangements whereby the financial base for the programme is a continuing allocation from Special Programme Resources.

12. In addition to the above-mentioned 14 projects at a total cost of about $7 million to be completed by the end of 1986, a new initial group of projects costing $17.3 million, subject to approval by the UNDP Governing Council at its thirty-third session, is contemplated for implementation in the forthcoming fourth UNDP cycle (1987-1991). The title, short description of activities and cost of each project are given below.


Notional figure

(United States
dollars)
Natural resources
Water supply: villages and rural areas1 500 000
Provision of accessible and clean drinking-water supplies by the construction of water reservoirs, installation of water networks and improvement of existing wells
Agriculture
Assistance to farmers2 000 000
Financing of equipment and machinery for loan to small-scale farms through co-operatives; provision of seeds and fertilizers to farmers in hardship cases
Sprinkler and drip irrigation for citrus groves - Gaza250 000
Introduction of sprinklers and drip irrigation methods to citrus groves.
Wadi Fara's irrigation: lateral piping250 000
Installation of lateral piping connecting the main Jiflik Canal to individual farms, as an extension of a regional project largely funded by the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development.
Co-operative and extension training250 000
In-service and specialized training for staff of co-operatives and extension services, as well as local community leaders.
Honey production100 000
Feasibility study on apiary possibilities in the Gaza Strip with emphasis on commercial production of honey, pilot projects to be financed on the basis of positive indications.
Marketing of agricultural and dairy products175 000
Feasibility study to improve the marketing aspect of vegetables, milk and citrus products with the introduction of proper packing and grading methods and facilities.
Spraying campaign50 000
Provision of insecticides and equipment through co-operatives for spraying fruit trees and vegetables to control infestations.
Pilot nursery - vegetable seedlings100 000
Experimentation with nursery production of vegetable and fruit seedlings of different varieties for distribution to small-scale farmers.
Development of slaughterhouses350 000
Development of slaughterhouses in the West Bank and replacement of existing unhygienic and uneconomical facilities.
Assistance to Gaza fishermen II125 000
Surveys of fisheries production in continuation of UNDP's effort to improve the fisheries industry in the Gaza Strip.
Reforestation - West Bank100 000
Reforestation on hilly slopes and tops of mountains to prevent erosion; rejuvenation of olive tree plantation.
Industry
Industrial Zone - Gaza50 000
Feasibility study on the establishment of an industrial zone to assist small-scale industries and workshops.
Specialized training in industrial management II100 000
Courses designed to provide owners, managers, accountants and other professionals with specialized training in development and managing small- and larger-scale businesses; as in previous project, to be carried out at the ILO Turin Centre.
Citrus processing - Gaza200 000
Detailed feasibility study on establishing processing and marketing facilities (canning, juice concentrates etc.) for citrus projects.
Health
Village clinics - West Bank1 500 000
Establishment of 10 to 15-bed clinics in remote villages and training of local health workers to provide on-site health services.
Development of health institutions III1 800 000
As for two previous projects, to provide urgently needed specialized medical equipment to health institutions and community health clinics.
Health manpower development II1 250 000
Provision of short-term specialized training courses, for example ultrasound, emergency clinic, laboratory and x-ray technicians, midwifery, intensive care nurses etc., to paramedical technicians and specialists.
Ambulance services500 000
Establishment of emergency ambulance services staffed by qualified paramedics to cover presently unserved areas in the West Bank and Gaza areas.
Education
Assistance to higher education300 000
Enhancement of administrative and academic development in existing universities and colleges by short-term training and exchange programmes designed to strengthen the capabilities of faculty members.
Strengthening of educational institutions II2 000 000
An extension of a previous project, designed to improve educational facilities and alleviate overcrowding by construction of additional classrooms in congested cities as well as remote villages.
Agricultural vocational training2 000 000
Strengthening of agricultural development through short-term training, as well as specialized skill-training programmes.
Employment
Small-scale industry100 000
Sponsorship of a feasibility study to identify small-scale business opportunities and types of retraining required to the unemployment situation.
Women's institutions II400 000
Sponsorship of a school to provide women with technical, specialized training such as home economics, nutrition, kindergarten and family life, social work, decoration and interior design, and information and publications in order to increase job opportunities and to meet demands for skilled personnel.
Promotion of technical and vocational education II500 000
Establishment of specialized courses in carpentry, electricity, and plumbing, similar to previous UNDP courses in other fields.
Glass and ceramics350 000
Upgrading of the traditional industry at Hebron, West Bank, through comprehensive training programmes and improved equipment.
Human settlements
Assistance to municipalities1 000 000
Provision of special machinery and equipment to municipalities with urgent needs not covered by other financing sources.
Total17 300 000
========

13. At its organizational meeting of 1986, in February 1986, the UNDP Governing Council approved an allocation from Special Programme Resources for the forthcoming fourth cycle (1987-1991) in an amount of $8 million. In so doing, the Council noted that previous allocations had amounted to $3.5 million for the second cycle and $6 million for the third cycle.

14. The amount of $8 million is viewed by the Administrator as a provisional allocation, subject to review on the basis of project expenditures experienced in the first part of the new cycle. In the event that new projects shown above and additional projects currently being formulated, can be implemented rapidly, it may be necessary for the Council to reconsider the amount at a later session, in the light of the prevailing situation and the updated estimates of total funding available under Special Programme Resources.

2. United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

15. In 1985, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) continued to provide both regular and emergency programmes of assistance to eligible registered refugees. The number of refugees registered with the Agency at 31 December 1985 amounted to 2,119,862, which represents more than half of the estimated total number of Palestinian people.

16. The Agency continued, throughout 1985, to provide three main regular programmes: education services, in co-operation with UNESCO; health services, in co-operation with WHO; and relief services. In addition, it extended emergency relief services to groups of refugees in Lebanon. The total expenditure on programmes in 1985 amounted to $187.4 million, almost all of which was met by voluntary contributions.

17. Expenditure on education services in 1985 amounted to $125.9 million or 67 per cent of total expenditure. In the 1984/85 school year, 345,844 children received elementary and preparatory (lower secondary) education in 640 UNRWA schools) 7,984 pupils were assisted with their secondary education at local government or private schools; some 4,322 trainees followed vocational or teacher-training courses at seven UNRWA centres) and 353 students were awarded scholarships for university study. During 1985, no funds could be allocated from the UNRWA budget for the construction of additional classrooms and other urgently required education facilities. Special donations, however, enabled the Agency to construct a limited number of schools and classrooms.

18. Health services accounted for $38.3 million or 20.4 per cent of total expenditure. Health monitoring of children, pregnant women and nursing mothers was the major component of the health programme provided through a network of 99 health units. Children showing growth failure received special care in 64 nutrition rehabilitation clinics. Nutritional support was provided in the form of midday meals, milk and extra rations to vulnerable groups. Emphasis on the preventive aspects of oral health continued, especially among school children. Six new dental clinics were established during the year: three in the Syrian Arab Republic, and one each in Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The Agency also maintained 79 specialist clinics covering tuberculosis, ophthalmology, ear-nose-and-throat diseases, cardio-vascular diseases, dermatology, chest diseases, diabetes and family planning. Twenty-seven clinical laboratories attached to health units continued to perform routine and bio-chemical tests. The Agency also assisted in self-help sanitation projects carried out by the refugees for the construction of drains and pathways in camps and for the connection of sewerage systems to municipal networks.

19. The third category of service, the relief programme, involved expenditure in 1985 of $20.5 million amounting to 10.9 per cent of total expenditure. The programme concentrated mainly on providing assistance to the most needy section of the refugee population - widows, orphans, the aged and the physically and mentally handicapped. Those persons, known as "special hardship cases", numbered 108,195 at the end of 1985. They are given dry food commodities, blankets, clothing, footwear, small cash subsidies, assistance in the repair of their shelters and assistance in becoming wholly or partially self-supporting. Economic hardship resulting from rising unemployment among refugees, especially in Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continues to generate pressures for special hardship assistance, a trend which seems likely to continue in 1986.

20. In 1985, the Agency was called upon once again to extend emergency assistance to refugees in Lebanon, for which a total of $2.2 million was expended. During July and August 1985, the Agency provided emergency assistance, including food aid, to some 30,000 refugees, who had been affected by the fighting in and around the camps in Beirut. In September, similar assistance was given to about 470 families displaced as a result of the fighting in Tripoli. Cash grants were made to families in the Beirut camps to assist them in repairing their shelters. The work of repairing or replacing UNRWA schools, clinics, offices and other installations, reconstructing camp roads and drains and restoring electricity supplies damaged or destroyed during the Israeli invasion in 1982, and in subsequent fighting, continued throughout 1985.

21. UNRWA faced a grave financial crisis at the beginning of 1985. Against an estimated cash requirement of $205.1 million to continue provision of services, the Agency estimated its cash income would be only $1_8.3 million. Reductions totalling $43 million were made in the budget by deferring improvements due in staff remuneration and much-needed construction and by cutting back administrative expenses. Donors responded generously to a special appeal for funds and the Agency was able to close the year without a major deficit.

22. The level of UNRWA financial resources is the prime determinant of its ability to meet the needs of the refugees. Given the funds, there are many projects which the Agency would implement to enhance the opportunities for refugees to become self-supporting, to improve the quality of services and to cater for the special needs of those with particular handicaps.

23. The programme of activities of UNRWA to be implemented during the year 1986 includes the following:

(a) Regular programme and associated projects

24. The cost of maintaining the regular programme and associated projects in 1986 is estimated at $186 million. Estimated income both in cash and in kind, based on pledged or expected contributions, stands at $176 million, leaving a cash gap of some $10 million. The Commissioner-General is actively seeking the additional funding required.

(b) New construction

25. The cost of this project is not included in the regular programme. The Agency has drawn up a three-year construction programme and has listed priority items costing $8.1 million for initiation in 1986. The funds will be used mainly to build classrooms to avoid triple shifting, to construct new schools to replace dilapidated premises, to replace or rebuild toilet units in existing schools and to build new health clinics and sewing centres. At present, this programme remains unfunded.
(c) Special project to improve environmental health conditions

26. A number of items relating to the improvement of environmental health conditions have been put together in a package which is being presented to potential donors.. The objective of this project is to improve the environmental health conditions of the refugees living in camps and to replace or renovate unsatisfactory facilities in Agency schools. This will improve cleanliness and minimize the environmental determinants of exposure to infectious disease, thus reducing morbidity and mortality associated with poor environmental conditions.

27. The total estimated cost of this project is $4,245,000. To date, $240,000 has been pledged. At the donor's request, this amount is to be used for the improvement of sanitary facilities in Agency schools in the Gaza Strip.

3. United Nations Children's Fund

a) Assistance to Palestinian children and mothers in Lebanon

28. The condition of Palestinian mothers and children in Lebanon deteriorated in 1985. Despite difficult conditions, the implementation of certain activities in the 1985 Plan of Action, was still possible through a sound framework of co-operation with non-governmental organizations and Palestinian philanthropic societies that have been built up since 1983.

29. Following the 1984 armed conflicts in the camps in the Beirut area, UNICEF provided emergency and rehabilitation assistance. An allocation of $US 70,000 was made for water and sanitation works and for procurement of surgical equipment for the paediatric ward at Gaza Hospital. This money also covered the provision of relief supplies, such as baby clothes, mattresses and kitchen equipment. The distribution of supplies was co-ordinated with a committee of 12 non-governmental organizations. A major plan, totalling (US 310,000, for the rehabilitation of water and sanitation works in the camps of Sabra/Shatilla and Burj Al-Barajneh has been prepared.

30. The maternal and child health network and the nursing school run by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), the maternal ward at Gaza Hospital and the paediatric ward at Haifa Hospital are being rehabilitated. Special centres for the rehabilitation and education of the disabled were established in Beirut camps, and a programme was prepared to introduce techniques of detecting early childhood disabilities in all ongoing training programmes for social workers, kindergarten teachers and women, sponsored by UNICEF and non-governmental organisations.

31. With regard to women's income-generating activities, UNICEF has rehabilitated an embroidery workshop for women and has provided the necessary supplies to ensure the continuity of one of the main income-generating activities that has strong marketable outlets.

32. With regard to regular activities, some progress was made in pre-primary education, where a series of parallel activities are being carried out with a view to upgrading the quality of kindergarten teachers and developing innovative ideas. UNICEF has assisted a local charitable organization in establishing a kindergarten resource centre and in training a team of 10 kindergarten teachers, who are responsible for running that centre. A consultant was also hired to develop educational games with local applicability. Those efforts culminated with a summer camp for 2,000 children, where mothers, teachers and consultants participated and health education materials and games were tested.

(b) Assistance to Palestinian children and mothers in the Syrian Arab Republic

33. In 1985, UNICEF continued to strengthen the expanded programme of immunization (EPI) activities and maternal and child health (MCH) services through support to UNRWA. The support provided has been in the form of financial assistance for the training of nurses and dayas. The training programmes were focused on oral rehydration therapy (ORT), EPI and breast-feeding. Oral rehydration salts, vaccines and vaccine-related supplies, growth charts and related communications materials were also provided. Based on the findings of a study commissioned in 1984 to investigate health, water and sanitation conditions in four refugee camps, UNICEF has, as a first step, undertaken to carry out water and sanitation works, including sewerage disposal in the refugee camp in Ramadan. The improved conditions will provide an opportunity for launching a health education campaign emphasizing hygiene and the prevention and treatment of diarrhoeal diseases. A plan to cover the water and sanitation needs in Aher camps was also finalised. A noted project in the amount of $US 500,000 has been prepared and forwarded to potential donors for possible funding.

(c) Assistance to Palestinian children and mothers in Jordan

34. Aid to Palestinians in Jordan is mainly done through UNRWA and various non-governmental organizations. Assistance in the form of vaccines and related equipment, oral rehydration packages and project communication materials is provided to maternal and child health services established by UNRWA in one of the largest refugee camps. Those efforts are back-stopped by support to training of traditional birth attendants and midwives and close follow-up of the home-visiting programme by nurses and para-medical personnel.

35. Teachers in the UNRWA schools in Jordan are being trained in a variety of specific child survival techniques elements and sanitation. UNICEF financed the services of a consultant to promote the efficient utilisation of the communication materials on ORT, EPI and breast-feeding. As a result of that consultancy, a training course for 22 health education officers was implemented. In addition, assistance is given to non-governmental organisations through promoting existing kindergartens in different camps by provision of supplies and equipment.

(d) Assistance to Palestinian children and mothers in the occupied Arab territories

36. Considerable progress has been made in respect of the UNICEF programme of co-operation in the West Bank and Gaza. The programme consists of three interrelated elemental primary health care, pro-school cumulation and the promotion of child development centres. It aims at promoting a cost-effective approach to the survival and development of Palestinian children and mothers through the prevention, early detection and treatment of childhood disabilities and through the development of innovative approaches to early child care.

37. The primary health care component has succeeded in training 28 village health workers in the Hebron District to undertake simple preventive, promotive and curative tasks relating to maternal and child health. The pre-school stimulation element has succeeded in renovating 25 kindergartens, all of which are run by various Palestinian charitable societies. The renovations themselves have been carried out by the Al-Bir Society in Jericho. An additional 30 sets of basic kindergarten furniture have been produced and distributed. An Arabic language teachers' manual has also been produced and is being distributed to every kindergarten in the West Bank and Gaza.

38. The child development centre opened in Ramallah in late 1984 has been joined by a new child development centre in Hebron. A child development centre in Gaza opened in April 1986 and a fourth child development centre is to open in July in Jenin under the auspices of the Red Crescent Society. The child development centres are involved in community outreach work and operate in close co-ordination with other organizations, such as Catholic Relief Services. The child development centres also contribute to the training courses for kindergarten teachers and to testing, giving advice and referring cases of early childhood disability.

39. UNICEF has continued to support UNRWA activities in the West Bank and Gaza largely through the provision of vaccines, ORS and related supplies and equipment.

* * *

40. During 1986, UNICEF will continue to support UNRWA activities in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip largely through the provision of vaccines and supplies needed for EPI and ORT, as well as related equipment.

4. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

41. Pursuant to resolution 146 (VI) adopted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on 2 July 1983, 2/ the Special Economic Unit (Palestinian People) was established in the Office of the Secretary General of UNCTAD in December 1984 and the staffing of the Unit was completed in September 1985. During the period from March 1985 to February 1986 inclusive, the Unit made substantial progress, in accordance with 1984-1985 and 1986-1987 work programmes of UNCTAD. in preparing annual reports containing (a) a review and analysis of developments in the economic condition of the Palestinian people) and (b) proposals on strategies and measures for future development of the Palestinian economy and for the improvement of the economic condition of the Palestinian people. It also prepared report on its activities until mid-1985, which was presented to the Trade and Development Board at its thirty-first session. The report, entitled "Review of the economic conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territories" (TD/B/1065), reviewed the work of the Unit and developments in the economic conditions of the occupied Palestinian territories.

42. The Unit has also developed constructive working relationships on substantive matters with other United Nations departments and agencies concerned with economic development issues in the occupied Palestinian territories, notably the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, the International Labour Organisation, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. The staff of the Unit also undertook two field visits to the Middle East in connection with specific ongoing research projects, meeting with a large number of officials of Governments, regional and national organizations and institutions dealing with the economy of the occupied Palestinian territories.

43. The Unit will continue in-depth research and prepare its second annual report to the Trade and Development Board in 1986, which will review general economic trends and specific issues of significance to the development of the occupied Palestinian territories over the past year and the preceding period. Attention will be focused on Israeli policies affecting the economic development of the occupied Palestinian territories, in general, and sectors and issues, in particular. The research is to be completed by June 1986 and the report is to be presented to the Trade and Development Board in September 1986.

44. An in-depth study of the financial sector in the occupied Palestinian territories is under way. The study will investigate various aspects of the financial sector by focusing on Israeli policies in this field, analysing the problems encountered in the financing of overall economic development and examining prospects for policy consideration. The study is being conducted jointly with the secretariat of the Economic and Social commission for Asia and the Far East, which has committed both staff and resources for field surveying. Research on the study of the financial sector will be completed by July 1986 and its main findings will be submitted as a background paper, together with the annual report, to the Trade and Development Board in September 1986. The full version of the study is to be completed by the end of 1986 and published jointly by UNCTAD and the Commission early in 1987.

45. After completing the study of the financial sector, UNCTAD will commence work on a second in-depth study, which in intended to focus on the trade positions of the occupied Palestinian territories and ways of developing it. This work is projected for the period 1986-1987. Simultaneously, the unit will begin its work on the third annual report for presentation to the Trade and Development Board in September 1987. These activities will be undertaken within the existing resources available to UNCTAD.

46. Work on the establishment of a unique data base on the economy of the occupied Palestinian territories is also under way. The data base is conceived as a three-tiered system of data classification, including a bibliography, an index and statistics. UNCTAD will investigate the possibilities and modalities of ensuring wider dissemination of this data base.

47. In the event that additional resources are forthcoming, the Unit would move further ahead in the implementation of Conference resolution 109 (V) of 1 June 1979 3/ and Trade and Development Board resolution 239 (XXIII) of 9 October 1981, which called for a comprehensive and in-depth survey of the state of the economy of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as an elaborate analysis of the potentials for its development and the formulation of alternative development strategies. 4/ It could also initiate project proposals for more direct operational assistance aimed at developing and strengthening the Palestinian economy.

5. United Nations Fund for Population Activities

48. In February 1985, UNFPA was requested to support the financing of six fellowships for personnel in institutions of higher learning in the occupied territories, for post-graduate studies in the various specializations falling within the Fund's mandate. Three of these fellowships were to be undertaken at the Cairo Demographic Centre and the other three at universities in Western countries. UNFPA has received from the Office of Palestinian Projects of UNDP a list of candidatures for the fellowships; and has issued a supplementary allocation for one fellowship to the UNDP project entitled "Teacher-Training and Higher Education", which is designed to offer the above-mentioned post-graduate studies. Further allocations for another five fellowships will be issued upon receipt of nomination documentation meeting the Fund's criteria.

6. United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat)

49. Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 39/169 of 17 December 1984, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) organized a seminar on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories, which was held in Vienna from 25 to 29 March 1985. The General Assembly, by its resolution 40/201 of 17 December 1985, requested the Secretary-General to organize, by April 1987, a seminar on priority development projects needed for improving the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories. The United Nations Centre for Human Settlements is presently in the process of organizing this seminar.

50. Pursuant to resolution 8/9 of 8 May 1985 of the Commission on Human Settlements, 4/ the Centre prepared a study on the housing of the Palestinian population in the occupied territories. 5/ The study has, inter alia, identified several specific project proposals in the field of human settlements for implementation, subject to the agreement of the parties concerned and the availability of funds. This study, which is contained in the report of the Executive Director on "Activities of the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless in occupied Palestinian territories" (HS/C/9/6/Add.4), will be submitted to the Commission on Human Settlements at its ninth session in May 1986 for consideration.

51. The Centre has offered nine middle-level training fellowships for qualified Palestinians to be trained in various selected disciplines in the field of human settlements. A response to this offer is awaited.

7. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

52. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has always extended its international protection and material assistance when requested, to the Palestine refugees outside its area of operation. Considering the difficulties encountered by Palestinians in renewing their travel documents, the Office, jointly with UNRWA was able to arrange, with the co-operation of the Government of Lebanon, an easier procedure for the renewal and extension of travel; documents issued to the Palestine refugees by the Lebanese authorities.

8. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

53. Pursuant to resolution 139 (XII) of 24 April 1985 of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia on economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people under occupation, which, inter alia, calls upon the Executive Secretary of the Commission "to ensure that all available data and information relating to the occupied Palestinian territories are included in all studies and statistical abstracts issued by the Commission at the regional level", the Commission covered the occupied territories in most of the reports issued at the regional level in 1985. 6/ These include: the Statistical Abstract of the region of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia; Survey of economic and social developments in the ECWA region (E/ECWA/DPD/85/4); Industrial trends, structures and potential in the ESCWA region) the situation and outlook for meat, poultry and eggs in the ESCWA region (E/ESCWA/AGR/85/8); and Mid-decade review on the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action on Science and Technology for Development (E/ECWA/DR/85/WG.3/WP.13).

54. During 1985, the Commission completed two studies related to the occupied territories, in particular, a study on Food Security in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (E/ESCWA/AGR/85/4) which was issued in 1985, jointly with the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development) and a study "Forced emigration of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip (1967-1983)", which was published in the Population Bulletin prepared by the Commission. 7/

55. The Commission also advised the Jordanian Ministry of Occupied Territories Affairs on the evaluation of industrial projects in the West Bank and Gaza.

56. Pursuant to resolution 139 (XII), the Commission is currently undertaking several studies on the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people under occupation. Thus, at the request of the PLO Central Bureau of Statistics, the Commission is planning the execution of three surveys related to the Palestinian people on (a) income and expenditure of households, (b) a fertility survey and (c) migration. Those survey will be conducted first in the Palestine refugee camps in the Syrian Arab Republic. A mission to the Syrian Arab Republic started its work in January 1986. All the costs related to the surveys will be paid by the PLO Central Bureau of Statistics and the Commission will provide technical advice.

57. The Commission will also assist the PLO, in the form of advisory services, in the preparations for a new structural organization of the Central Bureau of Statistics.

58. In February 1986, the Commission, in co-operation with the Arab Labour Organization/Arab Employment Institutions (ALO/AEI), initiated a study on technical and vocational educational institutions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which aims at identifying the needs of the occupied territories in those areas and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 1986. During the second quarter of 1986, the Commission will also jointly undertake, with the ALO/AEI, a study on "Labour market developments in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip", which was recommended by the Expert Group Meeting on employment and migration policies of the Arab labour force, held in Kuwait, from 25 to 28 November 1985. It is scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of 1987. The total cost of the consultancies is $12,000, to be shared equally by the Commission and ALO/AEI. Another study on marketing of agricultural outputs in the occupied territories will be undertaken by a consultant of the Commission in May 1986, completed by November 1986, and will be financed both by the Commission and the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development. The Commission is also participating, jointly with UNCTAD, in the preparation of a study on "The development of financial structures and activities in the occupied Palestinian territories".

9. United Nations Department of International Economic and Social Affairs

59. Pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 1984/18 of 24 May 1984 the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs of the Department of International Economic and Social Affairs prepared and submitted to the Commission on the Status of Women, at its thirty-first session, a report on the situation of the women and children living in the occupied Arab territories (E/CN.6/1986/7).

60. An interim report on the preparation of a comprehensive report on the situation of Palestinian women living within and outside the occupied Arab territories (E/CN.6/1986/6), called for under Council resolution 1984/18, was also submitted to the Commission at its thirty-first session. The Centre will prepare the comprehensive report, on the basis of the outline contained in the interim report, and taking account of the Commission's resolution entitled "Palestinian women", 8/ requesting the Secretary-General to focus on the identification of the main humanitarian needs of the Palestinian women.

10. World Food Programme

61. The Government of Japan donated $US 1 million as a bilateral contribution to the World Food Programme's international Emergency Food Reserve for assistance to the Palestinian refugees in Jordan. The Programme was responsible for the purchase, shipment, distribution and monitoring of this assistance.

B. Specialized agencies

I. International Labour Organisation

62. The activities of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in the field of assistance to the Palestinian people are based on a resolution adopted on 24 June 1980 by the International Labour Conference at its sixty-sixth session, in which, inter alia, the Governing Body of the International Labour Office and the Director-General were requested "to provide all types of assistance and support to Arab citizens in Palestine and the other occupied Arab territories to strengthen their economic and technical capabilities and to counteract the effects of the Israeli occupation and settlement policy". 9/

63. The latest report on the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories was submitted by the Director-General of ILO to the International Labour Conference at its seventy-first session (June 1985). It was prepared on the basis of missions to the Arab countries directly involved and missions to Israel and the occupied territories. The report presented a series of recommendations for improving the situation, particularly in terms of employment, vocational training, working conditions, social security and trade union rights.

64. The ILO had participated in the formulation of two projects in the fields of labour and training which were to be implemented by UNDP. One, relating to the promotion of vocational and technical education, is operational. Its aim is to expand the existing vocational training facilities offered by the centres of UNRWA, government services or private institutions to enable them to meet urgent needs. The other project, for specific training to meet urgent needs in the field of industrial management, was implemented during the second half of 1984 at the ILO International Centre for Advanced Technical and Vocational Training in Turin.

65. The Director-General offered the services of ILO experts in the implementation of UNDP projects of assistance to the Palestinian people. An ILO expert in the vocational training of women was made available to UNDP to implement a project of assistance to Palestinian women's institutions. The project is designed to expand the vocational training opportunities offered by these institutions and by Palestinian community development centres. Following the formulation phase of the project, ILO had announced its willingness to collaborate with UNDP to formulate project documents to provide assistance to Palestinian woman in its area of competence, such as long-term facilities for vocational training courses at a higher level, promotion of vocational training courses in income-generating activities for women's organizations, and support to craft-production activities. Accordingly, the ILO expert conducted a second mission in the region and submitted to UNDP a report, which is expected to result in the organisation of activities for the training of representatives of women's organizations in the region.

66. The Director-General made an additional allocation from the organization's regular budget for 1984-1985 to finance technical assistance projects for the population of the occupied territories. That allocation allowed the implementation of various activities, such as, inter alia, the provision to the International Centre for Advanced Technical and Vocational Training of nine training fellowships, which allowed Palestinians from the occupied territories to attend, in the second half of 1985, a training course in the management of training institutions.

67. In June 1985, the ILO regional adviser in the field of vocational rehabilitation for disabled persons provided technical assistance to the UNRWA Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Blind in the Gaza Strip. There will be a second mission to the region in 1986 in order to organize and conduct a training workshop, at the request of UNRWA.

68. The ILO has identified various assistance projects within its field of competence for the future. The first type relates to the training activities taking place at the Turin Centre in the field of occupational safety and hygiene, teachers' training, training for officers of co-operatives, management of vocational training institutions etc. Projects in this area are much needed in the occupied Arab territories, and ILO expects to provide the funds for several scholarships for the training of Palestinians in those areas during the biennium 1986-1987.

69. The second type of project relates to the development of co-operatives and to assistance to workers' unions and employers' organizations. The Director-General's invitation remains open to make as much use as possible of the opportunities provided by the programmes of the Turin Centre, which are likely to be of interest to a wide range of occupational categories, since they provide training opportunities for officers of trade unions, employers' organizations and co-operatives or in the technical spheres of special interest to the region.

2. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

70. During 1985, FAO assistance to the Palestinian people continued to be in the area of training. FAO is the executing agency of the project on agricultural training centres (PAL/79/010), the objective of which is to assist the Palestinian families of Gilline and Ramadan refugee camps in the Syrian Arab Republic to improve the production and efficiency of crop and livestock farmers and producers by providing facilities, knowledge, skills, material inputs and technical leadership for demonstration and training work. The project has a budget of $US 356,000 provided from the UNDP programme reserve (see para. 7 above).

3. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

71. The assistance of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to the Palestinian people is mainly concentrated on university fellowships and the provision of educational supplies and equipment. Under its terms of co-operation with UNRWA, UNESCO has been granting fellowships to educational personnel employed by UNRWA to administer the educational programme in the Middle East. Provision is made in the programme and budget for 1986-1987 for the granting of further training fellowships for the teaching staff of the universities in the occupied Arab territories, and a special scholarship fund, to be financed by donations, for students from the occupied Arab territories is under examination by the Director-General.

4. World Health Organisation

72. WHO provided the services of one of its field staff - a sanitary engineer - for a period of two weeks in February 1985 to review the existing environmental health facilities and programmes in the West Bank. This was followed by a two-day visit of a WHO consultant in October 1985 during which he carried out an on-site inspection of a refugee camp and its surroundings and reviewed the problems of waste-water disposal and over-flowing private cesspits in the camp.

73. Rehabilitation of disabled Palestinians is a major problem which was not seriously tackled before. The services of a WHO consultant were provided for a period of four weeks in December 1985 to carry out a survey in the West Bank and to assess the needs for rehabilitation and the capabilities of rehabilitation institutions to cope with the problem.

74. The WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, in collaboration with the Centre for Educational Development of the University of Jordan, sponsored a Workshop on Community Needs for Health Care Delivery. Fifteen nurses from UNRWA and six from the Ministry of Health participated in the Workshop, which was held from 6 to 19 July 1985. A training course for managers of food centres and their assistants took place in the West Bank from 10 May to 28 June 1985. The course was organized and conducted by senior staff members of the Field Health Office with participation of the candidates who attended the course conducted by WHO in Amman in 1984. Ten fellowships were awarded for training in environmental health and four in public health administration.

75. In view of the steady increase in the number of children making use of the milk programme of UNRWA, the Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean contributed $US 90,000 for the purchase of a fully automatic milk-bagging machine.

76. Following upon World Health Assembly resolutions WHA35.15 of 1982 and WHA36.27 of 1983, two centres have been designated as WHO Collaborating Centres in Primary Health Care Research, the development objective of which is to support the undertaking of health systems research aimed at ensuring total coverage of the local population with primary health care, using the most appropriate technology. At the Ramallah Health Services Research Centre on the West Bank, an active programme of research has been in progress since June 1985. Special emphasis in the early states of the Centre's work is being given to a number of projects, including those concerned respectively with the monitoring and evaluation of an expanded primary health care programme, the evaluation and supervision of the work of traditional birth attendants, and a review of infant and child mortality. A substantial additional programme is envisaged. At the Gaza Health Services Research Centre (formerly the Epidemiology and Health Information Centre), the projects being undertaken, all of which have been built on previous work begun prior to the official designation as a WHO Collaborating Centre, represent a move forward from previous descriptive epidemiological work to that of a more analytic nature. A computerized public health reporting system is being developed, and studies will follow in several subject area,. including the use of preventive and curative health services by children, and studies of population knowledge, attitudes and practices in health.

77. In addition to the Ramallah and Gaza Collaborating Centres in Primacy Health Care Research already in action, a third centre, to be located also in Ramallah, West Bank, has been officially designated. It will focus on the health manpower development component of primary health care research, with particular reference to the planning, co-ordination, development and evaluation of manpower needs, and of pilot training programmes.

78. All three centres are headed by Arab physicians, with local staffs, and the technical supervision of the projects lies with WHO, UNDP, through its Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People, in the terms of the agreement concluded between WHO and UNDP in February 1984, undertakes the administrative management of the projects. In all three cases, the WHO input provided through UNDP is designed to provide staffing support, research, training and essential scientific and office equipment to enable the staffs of the Centres to expand their work.

79. The Collaborating Centres designation in all cases has a four-year duration. Funding in each case will be for two years in the first instance. Funds mobilized for the launching phase of the three Collaborating Centres to date are $US 500,000 from the Director-General's development programme under the regular budget. The long-term funding of the projects will be reviewed in the coming months, but it is anticipated that a substantial proportion of necessary funds will come from extrabudgetary resources. The total rate of funding required would be at least one half million dollars per biennium for the staffing and the basic primary health care research activities of the Centres, plus a currently unpredictable amount of at least the same order to be invested in the future health services, research and development arising from needs yet to be identified.

5. International Telecommunication Union

80. Identification missions in the field of telecommunications training of Palestinian technicians were carried out from March to May 1985 by an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) adviser financed by UNDP sectoral support funds. The countries visited were Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, the Syrian Arab Republic and Oman, where discussions with the local representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization and national Directors-General of Telecommunications were held. As a result of those missions, a proposal on the subject was presented with a view to the creation of a training centre for Palestinian technicians in Jordan. This proposal, with a budget of approximately $865,000, is to be submitted to UNDP for inclusion in its next programming cycle for 1987-1991.

81. The Palestine Liberation Organization has been invited to take pact in all the technical seminars organized within the framework of MADARABTEL regional project RAB/83/011 implemented by ITU. The PLO was invited to participate, as an observer, in the MADARABTEL seminar on the integrated services digital networks, which was held in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, in April 1986.

6. Universal Postal Union

82. The UPU is providing two fellowships for Palestinian students at the Arab Postal Faculty in Damascus: one from October 1986 to 1990, and the other from 1990 to 1994. The Arab Postal Union has been requested to designate the beneficiary for the first fellowship. The annual value of the fellowships will be 15,600 Swiss francs and the total value will be 124,800 Swiss francs.

7. World Intellectual Property Organisation

83. Under the World Intellectual Property Organization's training programme for 1985, a fellowship was awarded in the copyright field to one candidate selected from a group of six candidatures submitted by UNRWA. In addition, one fellowship has been awarded in the industrial property field. Two candidatures were received for the fellowship. An invitation to propose candidates for the 1986 WIPO training programme in the field of copyright and industrial property has been sent to the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, the Secretary of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Permanent Observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization at Geneva.

8. United Nations Industrial Development Organization

84. The Industrial Development Board, at its nineteenth session in May 1985, requested UNIDO to "identify priority projects necessary for the development of the industrial sector in the occupied Palestinian territories and ... to sustain and intensify its efforts, in co-operation with the Palestine Liberation Organisation, in providing technical assistance to the Palestinian people". 10/

85. During 1985, UNIDO carried out the following activities in the area of technical assistance:

(a) Finalized the project on assistance to the plastic industry ($US 17,760). The detailed report comprised an analysis of identified problems faced by this industry in the occupied Palestinian territories, and included recommendations which were submitted to the Palestine Liberation Organization;

(b) Completed the feasibility study on a canning plant for citrus fruits ($US 43,500);

(c) Completed the group training programme for Palestinians in the field of policy and consultancy activities in small-scale industrial enterprises ($US 119,240). The programme was carried out at the ILO International Centre for Advanced Technical and Vocational Training in Turin, Italy.

All of these projects were financed from the United Nations Industrial Development Fund.

86. In 1986, UNIDO will continue to carry out the following activities:

(a) The study for the establishment of an industrial development bank (UC/PAL/85/090) for the purpose of providing capital and technical assistance to industrial enterprises, taking into consideration such studies as the "Survey of the manufacturing industry in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip" (UNIDO/10.584). The project costs $43,505 and is expected to be finalised by the end of 1986. The source of financing of this project is the United Nations Industrial Development Fund;

(b) The study for the establishment of an industrial sea port facility in the Gaza area. Before finalising the formulation of the project, UNIDO is awaiting the results of relevant consultations on modalities of the execution by UNIDO and the approval of the occupation authorities for the fielding of UNIDO experts in the Gaza Strip;

(c) The group training programme for Palestinians in the field of organisation and management of industrial co-operatives (UC/PAL/85/133). The programme has been approved by UNIDO for financing through contributions from special-purpose donors and the amount of funds required for the project is $109,200. The programme, which is to be implemented in co-operation with the ILO International Centre for Advanced Technical and Vocational Training in Turin, is a seven-week programme and, subject to the availability of funds, is tentatively scheduled for the period of from 20 October to 12 December 1987.

87. UNIDO is trying to identity a new source of financing to implement projects in the occupied Arab territories. It has been relying on local experts to carry out the field work, and on international consultants to analyse the information and the data and then to finalise the studies. UNIDO backstopping involves a close follow-up on the implementation and the final evaluation of the studies.

III. CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS

88. As indicated above, agencies, organs and programmes of the United Nations system, in accordance with their respective mandates, are continuing to provide economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people. While some identification of needs has been carried out, further information on needs is required, and resources need to be identified and mobilised to support proposed project activities. For this purpose, in consultation with the relevant United Nations entities and other parties concerned, the utility and feasibility of fielding, a mission on economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people could be explored. Such an initiative could facilitate the finalization of the programme of economic and social assistance, as requested by the General Assembly in resolution 40/170.
Notes


2/ See Proceedings of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, vol. I, Report and Annexes (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.83.II.D.6), part one, sect. A.

3/ See Proceedings of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Fifth Session, vol. I, Report and Annexes (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.79.II.D.14), part one, sect. A.

4/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 15 (A/36/15 and Corr.1), part three, annex I.

5/ Ibid., Fortieth Session, Supplement No. 8 (A/40/8 and Corr.1), annex I, sect. A.2.

6/ See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1985, Supplement No. 14 (E/1985/35), chap. IV.

7/ No. 27, December 1985.

8/ Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1986, Supplement No. 4 (E/1986/24), chap. I, sect. A, draft resolution V.

9/ International Labour Conference, Record of Proceedings, Sixty-sixth Session, "Resolution concerning the Implications of Israeli Settlements in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories in Connection with the Situation of Arab Workers". p. xxxix.

10/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fortieth Session, Supplement No. 16 (A/40/16), chap. XVI, para. 40, conclusion 1985/13.

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