The Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza are still facing acute suffering, declining living standards, and increasing poverty and unemployment. There is intensifying social and territorial disintegration, a tight network of closures, sophisticated controls, and the expansion of illegal settlements. Multiple barriers to and controls on mobility of people and goods have intensified. The land, sea and air borders of the Gaza Strip are firmly controlled and sealed by the occupying power, leading to virtually complete isolation. Three main factors have led to the further deterioration of the situation: (1) the financial embargo imposed by the international community on the Palestinian Authority (PA) has had devastating effects on the Palestinian people and economy; (2) the withholding of Palestinian tax revenues by Israel, resulting in a loss to the budget of an average monthly income of about US$60 million; and (3) tight restrictions on the mobility of Palestinian people and goods both within and between the territories, and to Israel and other countries, have restricted the Palestinian economy from operating, other than minimally. The restrictions on freedom of movement also have a strong social and employment impact as it results in the partition of Palestinian communities, impeding access to land, enterprises, places of work, and basic social services such as health and education.
The project aims to contribute towards building a Palestinian State through creating sustainable enterprises and greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment and income. It focuses on:
Upon completion of the project, the following results will be achieved: