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        General Assembly

15 May 1987


Forty-second session
Item 12 of the preliminary list*
Second regular session of 1987
Item 17 of the provisional agenda** IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECLARATION

Assistance to the Palestinian people

Report of the Secretary-General

1. By resolution 41/181 of 8 December 1986, the General Assembly, inter alia, welcomed the decision of the Secretary-General to send a mission to prepare the programme of economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people requested in its resolution 38/145 and expressed its thanks to the Secretary-General for convening the meeting on assistance to the Palestinian people held at Geneva on 2 July 1986. The Assembly urged the international community, the United Nations system and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to disburse their aid or any other form of assistance to the occupied Palestinian territories only for the benefit of the Palestinian people and in a manner that would not serve to prolong the Israeli occupation. The Assembly requested the Secretary-General to convene in 1987 a meeting of the relevant programmes, organizations, agencies, funds and bodies of the United Nations system to consider economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people and to provide for the participation therein of the Palestine Liberation Organization (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-second session, through the Economic and Social Council, on the progress made in the implementation of the resolution.

2. Pursuant to the request, the Secretary-General engaged as a consultant Mr. John Miles, former Director of the Liaison Office of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in New York, who was instructed to visit the headquarters of relevant agencies and programmes of the United Nations system located in Geneva, New York, Rome and Vienna in order to assist in the preparation of a draft programme of economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people. The information gathered on that mission, which was undertaken in February 1987, was supplemented by information obtained orally and in writing from agencies and programmes that, because of financial constraints, could not be visited. The draft programme prepared by the consultant is annexed to the present report.

3. In preparing the draft programme, account was taken of the agreement reached at the meeting held at Geneva on 2 July 1986 that the programme should focus on the occupied territories.

4. It is envisaged that the meeting to consider economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people called for under General Assembly resolution 41/181 will take place at Geneva on 19 June 1987. The Secretary-General will report thereon to the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly.



Draft programme of economic and social assistance to
the Palestinian people


    A. Objectives and priorities
7 - 135
    B. Research, analysis and organization of data
14 - 177
    C. Infrastructure
18 - 279
    D. Agriculture (including animal husbandry and fisheries)
28 - 3412
    E. Industry
35 - 4715
    F. Employment
48 - 5018
    G. Education and vocational training
51 - 6419
    H. Health
65 - 8622
    I. Social welfare
87 - 9728
    J. Human settlements
98 - 10231


1. The task of developing a programme of economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people is a unique one. A typical country programme of international assistance is normally based upon that country's own development plan, which provides approved guidelines, including goals and objective, priorities (both sectoral and intrasectoral and broad financial parameters. The total resources that can reasonably be expected to be available from within the United Nations system are also usually known. Additionally, there are established modalities for co-ordinating the implementation of the assistance programme both with the Government concerned and within the United Nations system, which contribute to the most effective use of that assistance. Procedures are also in place for monitoring and evaluating the programme as implementation proceeds. In the case of the Palestinian people, that pattern does not exist. The Palestinian are scattered throughout the region, they live under different jurisdictions, many under occupation, and they have no Government of their own.

2. These constraints are well known and need no further elaboration. Their inhibiting effect on the development and implementation of any programme of assistance, however, cannot be ignored. The fact that the present programme is to be focused on the occupied territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in accordance with the views expressed at the meeting held at Geneva on 2 July 1986, while limiting the geographical area to be covered, in no way overcomes these basic problems.

3. The draft programme, as set out below, has been prepared within the context of these constraints. It suggests a practical programme of assistance over the period from 1988 to 1990 by indicating ways in which the United Nations system is responding and could respond in the future to the most pressing needs.

4. The section on objectives and priorities is based on information gathered from a variety of sources. The assessments of needs within each sector are based on this information, on studies and reports of seminars prepared and organized under the aegis of various United Nations bodies, and on information provided by the relevant organizations of the United Nations system. The individual projects have been supplied by those organizations and are set out under two headings: current and planned projects, and those suggested for the future. Where possible, the resource requirements are included along with an indication of their availability.

5. It should be noted that the United Nations system is already providing assistance to the Palestinian people in the occupied territories. Since the beginning of the occupation in 1967, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has maintained and developed a substantial programme of assistance to the refugees through which it provides extensive education, health and relief services, the cost of which in 1986 amounted to $69,326,000. In 1980, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) began a programme of economic and social assistance directed primarily towards the non-refugee population. To date, over 30 projects involving almost $14 million have been completed or are in the course of being implemented. Other organizations of the system have also provided assistance to the Palestinian people within the terms of their respective mandates. These include the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Meteorological Organization (WHO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). This existing assistance is the basis upon which a full-fledged programme may be developed. Particular needs have already been identified and projects have been mounted to provide assistance where it is most needed. Much valuable experience that has been gained in planning, developing and implementing projects in the unique environment of the occupied territories is available to be drawn upon.

6. The programme is designed to present practical and credible ways of assisting the economic and social development of the Palestinian people. It is hoped that the programme will commend itself to all concerned, in particular to the Palestinian people and to prospective donors, for without their full co-operation the programme of assistance cannot be implemented, and that it will stimulate the various bodies within the United Nations system to participate in or to increase their participation in existing and planned projects, to identify new ones and to assist in securing funding for them.


A. Objectives and priorities

7. A growing consensus indicates that the main issue to be addressed is the economic situation of the occupied territories and, in particular, the large numbers of Palestinian workers who find it necessary either to seek employment in Israel or to emigrate. It is therefore urged that the main objective of a development programme for the occupied territories should be to rebuild the productive base of the economy to enable it to absorb its own labour force.

8. Agreed figures are difficult to establish, but according to one source, whose figures may be taken as indicative, at the end of 1985 the Israeli economy provided employment for 89,200 workers from the occupied West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip or 36.8 per cent of the employed labour force of the territories. Adding an estimated 8,900 workers from East Jerusalem and an estimated 15,000 who work in Israel without formal permission, the total number of workers from the occupied territories employed in Israel at the end of 1985 reaches 113,000. Taking into account the trend between 1981 and 1985, this figure is expected to have increased to 116,000 by the end of 1986.

9. Estimates of the additional investment required in the occupied territories over a five-year period vary considerably. One source suggests a figure of just over $1 billion or $200 million each year, while another suggests $2.4 billion or $475 million each year. Whatever the figure, the amount of investment required is formidable.

10. A number of suggestions have been made as to the criteria that should be used in selecting projects for inclusion in a programme of assistance. The most pertinent of these are the following:
11. Suggestions have also been made as to the broad categories of projects as well as specific projects that should be included in a programme. In this connection, it will be recalled that the General Assembly, in its resolution 40/169 of 17 December 1985, called for the establishment of a seaport at Gaza and of a cement plant. Suggested economic development projects include a fisheries port; agro-industrial plants for processing such products as citrus, grapes, dairy products, pickled fruits and vegetables and soap; small-scale factories that would be labour-intensive and require limited capitalization for such products as ceramics, blankets, cardboard boxes and paint; and production and training centres for tourism, textiles, electronics and shoes and leather. Other suggestions include detailed, in-depth evaluation studies of infrastructural needs such as transport, electricity and services of all kinds. In the social field, projects have been proposed that would provide for the expansion of existing educational institutions, especially for vocational training institutions and for the universities, as well as for detailed studies of health services with particular reference to the need for more hospitals and clinics.

12. A seminar sponsored by Habitat, held at Vienna from 2 to 6 March 1987, considered priority development projects needed for improving the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories. The seminar agreed upon a set of criteria for projects that is similar to those set out in paragraph 10 above, and proposed the following projects: an Arab cement company in the West Bank; a seaport in Gaza; a co-operative factory to process selected local fruits and vegetables; a marketing agency for Palestinian agricultural products; a training and production centre for arts and crafts; a production and training centre for textiles and ready-made garments; a ceramics factory in Hebron; a sardine canning factory in Gaza; development of sheep stocks and training of farmers; the establishment of a poultry hatchery; the propagation and use of jojoba; the satisfaction of housing needs; the satisfaction of the energy needs of rural communities; the organization and provision of an inexpensive transport network as a co-operative venture; the improvement of the road network; and water utilization (see A/42/183-E/1987/53).

13. Before these projects can be offered to prospective donors, detailed and in-depth feasibility studies need to be carried out on the spot to ensure that they will be viable and that they fit into the overall objectives of the programme.

B. Research, analysis and organization of data

14. One consequence of the absence of a Palestinian central authority in the occupied territories is the lack of institutional arrangements for the development of policy and planning in the economic and social fields. Likewise no central body exists in the territories for collecting and publishing statistical and other data or for producing studies and analyses upon which policy and plans should be based. The United Nations system is providing assistance in this area and can continue to do so.

1. Current projects

(a) UNCTAD (funded)

15. In accordance with its mandate, UNCTAD, through its special Economic Unit (Palestinian People), has prepared reports containing a review and analysis of developments in the economic conditions of the Palestinian people and proposals on strategies and measures for future development of the Palestinian economy. Between March 1986 and February 1987, the work of the Unit included the following:

2. Planned projects (funded)

16. According to the proposed work programme of UNCTAD for 1988-1989, the Unit will:

3. Projects suggested for the future (unfunded)

17. UNCTAD believes that there is a growing need for strengthening local institutional capabilities in (a) collection, analysis and dissemination of quantitative and qualitative information pertaining to trade and related services in the occupied territories with the view to improving the performance of their commodity and services sectors, and (b) development and application of appropriate criteria, methodologies and procedures involved in the selection, preparation, analysis and implementation of investment projects, thus contributing to better resource allocation and management. One way to deal effectively with both issues is to develop existing relevant institutional facilities in the occupied territories, perhaps through two technical assistance projects. Subject to the concurrence of the parties directly concerned, UNCTAD could assist in the design and development of the projects.

C. Infrastructure

18. UNDP officials on-the-spot and other observers have drawn attention to deficiencies in the infrastructure of the occupied territories that inhibit economic and social development. Some of these, such as the inability of the municipal and other authorities to provide an adequate range of services and the poor state of rural roads, adversely affect economic development. Others, such as the deficiencies in the arrangements for disposal of sewage and other effluents and the need to improve water supply systems to rural villages, pose serious health problems. The situation in the Gaza Strip is of particular concern. At present demographic rates, the population of half a million is expected to double by the year 2000. In the whole Strip, there is only one sewage disposal system (Gaza City) and it is incomplete. Exposed and resurfacing sewage is an immediate health hazard and leakage into the aquifers, already over-pumped and increasingly saline, further endangers the water supply.

19. Host infrastructural projects are exceedingly costly and can be considered only if special financial arrangements can be assured. Because of the urgency of the problem, UNDP has engaged consultants who have developed plans that keep costs to a minimum.

1. Current and planned projects (all projects are funded;
costs are for the UNDP 1987-1991 cycle)

(a) Recycling of Gaza City effluents (UNDP, $1,520,000)

20. This project involves the addition of a third treatment lagoon that will permit an existing sewer main serving the western side of the city to be connected to the system, construction of a storage reservoir for treated water and development of facilities to enable the treated water to be used for irrigation and for replenishing the aquifers through percolation pools. Upon completion of this project, the system should be adequate into the 1990s.

(b) Sewage disposal and effluent recycling for the northern region of the Gaza Strip,
21. This project represents the implementation of the first stage of a plan developed by UNDP consultants to address the short-range and long-range problems of effluent disposal in areas outside Gaza City. The following priorities were set under the plan:

22. The project will eliminate open standing sewage, uncovered sewage canals, resurfacing sewage and seepage into ground water. It will provide covered connection lines, new pumping stations and other facilities needed for treating and recycling the effluent for irrigation or for replenishing the aquifers.

(c) Strengthening the Gaza Hydrology Laboratory (UNDP, $60,000) 1/

23. The Gaza Hydrology Institute will be provided with new equipment and its staff will be given additional training to enable it to increase the range and number of tests it carries out on water from the aquifers.

(d) Assistance to municipal services (UNDP, $292,000)

24. A 25-unit commercial centre will be constructed in Rafah, Gaza Strip, and special equipment will be purchased for the Nablus municipality in the West Bank.

(e) Improvement of water-supply systems in villages and rural areas (UNDP, $868,000)

25. Accessible and clean drinking water will be provided to 22 West Bank villages through the construction of reservoirs and the installation and repair of pipelines.

(f) Training of manpower for future needs (IMO, WMO, WIPO, UPU)

26. Specialized agencies such as IMO, WMO, WIPO and UPU have provided or are providing fellowships within their respective fields of competence for qualified Palestinians. The IMO fellowships are tenable at the Arab Maritime Transport Academy (AMTA), Sharjah, which provides training for sea-farers and shore-based maritime personnel. A current project, a manpower survey of maritime training needs in the Arab States, will endeavour to determine the number of maritime personnel that various countries will require for their merchant and fishing fleets, for maritime administrations and for ports and ancillary shore-based industries. It is expected that the survey will reflect the requirements of the Palestinians. WMO assistance took the form of a hydrological training workshop that was held at Damascus in 1986. WIPO has funded fellowships for Palestinians in the field of copyright and industrial property. UPU is financing from its special fund two four-year training fellowships for Palestinians at the Arab Faculty of Posts, Damascus. The first fellowship is tenable from 1986 to 1990; the second from 1990 to 1994. The total UPU contribution is estimated at SF 124,800.

2. Projects suggested for the future

27. The following projects are unfunded, cost figures are notional:

(a) Improvement of water-supply systems in villages and rural areas - West Bank (UNDP, $3,000,000): UNDP has initiated projects in 22 villages but over 100 villages in the West Bank require assistance urgently;

(b) Drinking water facilities (UNDP, $300,000): because the water supply in Gaza is diminishing and available water contains high levels of salt and chloride, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies are proposed to examine methods for conserving and treating water and to explore new sources;

(c) Industrial zone, Gaza (UNDP, $2,500,000): feasibility study on the establishment of an industrial zone to assist small-scale industries and workshops);

(d) Assistance to municipalities (UNDP, $3,000,000): provision of special machinery and equipment to municipalities;

(e) Development of slaughterhouses (UNDP, $3,000,000): for new slaughterhouses and to replace existing unhygienic and uneconomic facilities in the West Bank; 1/

(f) Development of commercial centres (UNDP, $2,000,000): construction of commercial centres for rural businesses and shops;

(g) Construction of sewage systems (UNDP, $20,000,000): construction of systems in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to eliminate environmental pollution in and around centres of population and to provide additional water for irrigation;

(h) Training of manpower for future needs (WMO): provided funds could be found and suitable candidates identified, WMO would organize group training or fellowships in meteorology, hydrology and water resources, agro-meteorology of semi-arid area and desertification, solar and wind assessments and urban and environmental-related climatology;

(i) Training for future needs (ITU): creation of a telecommunications training institute or centre for Palestine refugees in one of the host countries. The proposal, first made in 1979, and renewed in 1984 and 1985, could be developed, provided an official request is received from the PLO.

D. Agriculture (including animal husbandry and fisheries)

28. Although the value of agricultural production has declined in recent years, agriculture still plays a central role in the economy of the occupied territories. In 1984, the latest year for which figures are available, it contributed 28 per cent to the gross domestic product and provided employment for 24.8 per cent of the labour force working in the occupied territories. There seems to be agreement among observers that the difficulties faced by producers in the agricultural sector can be attributed, in the main, to Israeli policies and therefore cannot be overcome by their own efforts. It is quite clear, however, that agricultural production could be considerably increased and provide a living for a greater number of Palestinian through basic improvements in production and marketing practices.

29. The United Nation system has had wide experience in providing this kind of assistance to agricultural producers facing similar difficulties in other parts of the world and is well-equipped to furnish similar assistance to the Palestinians. Since 1979, the World Food Council has been promoting integrated national food strategies and the dissemination of information on food-sector planning and programming across developing countries. According to the Council, moving Palestine's agriculture to higher levels of output and productivity is the first task and activities could be identified and quickly developed that would promote such social objectives as employment generation, income enhancement and improved nutrition of the poor. Such activities would lend themselves to national, regional and international co-operation and would enhance improved complementarity and efficiency in co-ordinating policies and programmes in support of the Palestinian people. UNDP has provided 20 fellowships for training in irrigation, management, marketing, plant virology, animal husbandry, extension services, vegetable growing, plant protection and citrus and olive tree cultivation. FAO has also provided three fellowships, one each in animal husbandry, soil science and plant protection. UNDP has also engaged consultants to advise on needs and projects.

1. Current and planned projects (all projects are funded);
UNDP cost figures are for the 1987-1991 cycle)

(a) Specialized training (FAO, $30,000)

30. Three fellowships have been provided to university graduates for study abroad in agricultural economics and animal production. To date, two candidates have been accepted.

(b) Development and strengthening of El Aroub Community College, West Bank (UNDP, $100,000) 2/

31. The El Aroub Community College is the only higher agricultural education institution still functioning in the territories and provides academic and practical training for 55 students. Assistance consists of provision of books and specialized equipment.

(c) Assistance to fishermen in the Gaza Strip (UNDP, $725,000) 2/

32. This represents the first stage in a plan to meet the most pressing needs of the Gaza fishermen, namely, refrigeration on boats, cold storage on shore, a convenient fish market, and a port. The project includes financing of an ice-block factory ($175,000), a refrigerated storage unit, offices for the fishing co-operative, a modern fish market ($200,000) and a feasibility study on the construction of a harbour for the fishing fleet. Actual construction of the port will depend on the availability of substantial funds.

(d) Marketing of agricultural products (ESCWA)

33. A study on this subject is expected to be completed in March 1987.

2. Projects suggested for the future

34. The following projects are unfunded; cost figures are notional:

(a) Sprinkler and drip irrigation for citrus groves, Gaza Strip (UNDP, $250,000): introduction of sprinklers and drip-irrigation methods to citrus groves in order to conserve diminishing supplies of water; 2/

(b) Pilot nursery - fruit and vegetable seedlings (UNDP, $100,000): experimentation with nursery production of vegetable and fruit seedlings for distribution to small-scale farmers; 2/

(c) Irrigation of Auja area (UNDP, $150,000): development of the Auja spring and construction of distribution systems for the irrigation of 6,000 dunums; 2/

(d) Irrigation of Jiflik area (UNDP, $100,000): rehabilitation of an artesian well in the Jiflik area to permit the irrigation of 700 dunums of land for the cultivation of citrus and vegetables; 2/

(e) Wadi Fara'a irrigation (UNDP, $250,000): installation of lateral piping connecting the main Jiflik canal to individual farms; 2/

(f) Bee-keeping (pilot apiaries) (UNDP, $50,000): feasibility study on bee-keeping in the Gaza Strip with emphasis on commercial production of honey; pilot projects to be financed on the basis of positive indications; 2/

(g) Development of poultry farming (pilot project) (UNDP, $100,000): experimentation with poultry production, setting up of a 10,000 unit pilot poultry farm in the Gaza Strip; 2/

(h) Sheep development (pilot project) (UNDP, $400,000): development of sheep-breeding techniques and exploration of production and marketing;

(i) Breeding of cows and marketing of dairy products (UNDP $500,000): introduction of modern methods for breeding cows and development of production and marketing of dairy products; 2/

(j) Fisheries development - West Bank (UNDP, $200,000): development of a fisheries industry in the West Bank by means of aquaculture; pro-feasibility study and feasibility studies to determine viability; 2/

(k) Development of rain-fed cultivation including reforestation (UNDP, $400,000): assistance to West Bank farmers in improving rain-fed cultivation to reforest hilly slopes and tops of mountains to prevent erosion; 2/

(l) College of agriculture, Hebron University (UNDP, $500,000): development and establishment of a college of agriculture attached to the University of Hebron, the first in the territories; 2/

(m) Improvement of packing, grading and storage methods and facilities (UNDP, $250,000): feasibility studies to improve the marketing of vegetables, milk and citrus products by the introduction of modern packing, grading and storage methods and facilities; 2/

(n) Improvement of the efficiency of co-operative marketing (ILO/UNDP, $250,000 over two years: provision of efficient marketing systems for agricultural co-operatives through the development of a market intelligence system as well as of a training and consultancy unit; 2/

(o) Agricultural planning and development (ESCWA): assistance with projects related to agricultural planning and development; 2/

(p) Marketing of agricultural products (ESCWA): preparation of further studies on the improvement of marketing of agricultural products. 2/

B. Industry

35. In 1984 industrial activities accounted for 7 per cent of the gross domestic product and provided employment for 16 per cent of the labour force working in the territories. Industry in the territories has not altered greatly in recent years and consists of labor-intensive small-scale production units with a low level of output. The main industrial products are olive oil and soap, margarine, food and beverages, plastics and rubber, textiles, leather goods, carpentry and quarried stone. Production is largely for the local market although some products are sub-contracted by Israeli factories and some are exported to Jordan. In general, industry in the territories cannot compete successfully with Israeli products.

36. The expansion of the industrial sector depends primarily on a change in Israeli policies that at present make it almost impossible for additional or new products to find a market. For that reason assistance has had to be limited to training and to a search for areas of industrial production that have a good chance of becoming viable in the present circumstances. Initial efforts have focused on existing industries, e.g., glass-making, which can make use of raw materials already at hand, and agro-industries such as food processing.

37. In 1980, UNIDO completed a survey of the manufacturing industry in the occupied territories that was later considered by an expert group. The report of this group and the survey highlighted the problems and proposed strategies. UNIDO subsequently implemented a number of projects.

38. Early in their operations in the occupied territories, UNDP consultants, some of whom were supplied by ILO, identified the need to strengthen the managerial skills of small entrepreneurs, as well as the practical value of such training. Therefore, in co-operation with ILO, UNDP financed a special course of training in industrial management that was attended by 20 owner-managers at the ILO International Centre for Advanced Technical and Vocational Training at Turin, Italy. These courses are continuing. Other courses at Turin sponsored jointly by UNDP and ILO, but funded by ILO, include courses in small-scale industrial enterprises and the management of industrial co-operatives.

(a) Industrial development (olive oil) (UNDP, $330,000)

39. The olive oil industry is already well established in the territories, with its main production centre at Nablus. Because high quality olive oil can command higher prices and has a better chance of competing on the market, UNDP has financed the construction and equipment of a laboratory at Nablus in collaboration with a major local co-operative to carry out research for the improvement of the quality of the oil produced. UNDP has also set standards and has negotiated the acceptance of these standards with the main importers of West Bank olive oil.

(b) Development of glass and ceramics engineering technology (UNDP, $350,000)

40. The glass and ceramics industry is well established in the Hebron area but, if it is to expand and compete, it needs to take advantage of recent technological advances. To this end, UNDP is providing assistance to the recently opened Department of Glass and Ceramics in the Hebron Technical Engineering College through the provision of equipment and machinery and supplies needed for a two-year period. UNDP is also granting fellowships and financing short-term training courses to improve workers' skills.

(c) Assistance to the plastics industry (UNIDO, $17,670)

41. A detailed study has been prepared that comprises an analysis of identified problems faced by the plastics industry in the occupied territories and a set of recommendations to improve the situation with particular emphasis on capacity utilization. The study identified two major areas where further assistance merits consideration, namely, training of Palestinians from small plastics-processing enterprises and the establishment of a plastics-testing laboratory in the occupied territories.

(d) Feasibility study on a canning plant for citrus fruits (UNIDO, $43,505)

42. A pre-feasibility study for processing of citrus fruits has been completed and a draft report is being reviewed by the relevant substantive section of UNIDO.

(e) Study for the establishment of an industrial development bank (UNIDO, $35,000)

43. The project has been completed and it is hoped it will be implemented in 1987.

(f) Group training programme for Palestinians in the field of policy and consultancy activities in small-scale industrial enterprises (UNIDO, $119,143) 44. This programme, held at the International Centre for Advanced Technical and Vocational Training, was completed in December 1985.

(g) Study in respect of an industrial seaport facility in the Gaza area (UNIDO)

45. Certain preliminary information and statistical data have to be obtained in order to formulate a project concept for a study to be carried out in connection with specific industrial functions and engineering infrastructure for a seaport facility. In view of the fact that a study on a fishing port has been carried out by another United Nations body, in the same area, further action will await the result of that study.

(h) Group training programme for Palestinians in the organization and management of industrial co-operatives (UNIDO $116,143)

46. This project was cleared for financing from the Development Fund in 1985, but was not implemented for scarcity of funds. A reduction in the total cost was considered to allow the use of the General Purpose Funds (UNIDF) for Implementation at the International Centre for Advanced Technical and Vocational Training. Negotiations on the subject with the Centre have been under way.

2. Projects suggested for the future

47. The following projects are unfunded; cost figures are notional:

(a) Specialized training in industrial management (UNDP/ILO, $250,000): continuation of existing projects to provide courses for managers, accountants and other professionals with specialized training in developing and encouraging small and medium-scale businesses, to be carried out in co-operation with ILO at Turin;

(b) Industrial zone, Gaza Strip (UNDP, $2,500,000): feasibility study on the establishment of an industrial zone to assist small-scale industries and workshops; ILO has expressed interest in co-operating;

(c) Development of the manufacture of drip-irrigation equipment (UNDP, $250,000): feasibility study to develop, manufacture and market drip-irrigation equipment;

(d) Food processing (UNDP, $250,000): feasibility study to establish the viability of a plant for processing and marketing fruits, vegetables, fish and meat;

(e) Identification and development of small-scale industries (UNDP, $2,000,000): feasibility and developmental work to establish small-scale industries;

(f) Development of industries (UNDP, $2,000,000): feasibility studies for establishing larger-scale manufacturing industries and processing plants for such products as plastics, wool, leather, paint and soap;

(g) Fellowships in trade and marketing (UNDP, $250,000): provision of training in trade and marketing;

(h) Training of tourist guides (UNDP, $250,000): provision of training for tourist guides through local institutions;

(i) Hotel and tourist industry (ILO/UNDP - no figure): provision of training (project not yet formulated);

(j) Assistance to the plastics industry - phase II (UNIDO, $9,000): preparatory assistance to define the requirements for establishing a plastics testing laboratory in the occupied territories and to determine the exact needs and components of a training programme, as well as the most suitable institute for this purpose;

(k) Technical assistance in the identification of investment projects (UNIDO): a project is being formulated in consultation with the PLO;

(l) Industrial engineering infrastructure for a commercial port in the Gaza Strip (UNIDO, $100,000): recommended by the fourth cession of UNIDO in 1984 and requested by the PLO, this project is being held in abeyance pending the outcome of the study by UNDP on a fishing port;

(m) Small and medium-scale industries in occupied territories (UNIDO), $80,000): recommended by UNIDO in 1984 and requested by the PLO, a study on this project is awaiting comments by the PLO on a previous industrial study for the occupied territories.

V. Employment

48. In addition to the need to develop agriculture and industry as a means of increasing employment opportunities in the territories, officials and consultants from UNDP and ILO have identified the need to provide training in specialized areas of employment. A 1986 UNDP/ILO project, financed by ILO, provided a training course in occupational safety and hygiene.

1. Current and planned projects

49. The following projects are funded; cost figures are for the UNDP 1987-1991 cycle:

(a) Training in occupational safety and hygiene (ILO/UNDP, $35,000): an additional six Palestinian factory inspectors will attend a course in occupational safety and hygiene at the London School of Hygiene;

(b) Trade union and workers' education (ILO/UNDP, $95,000): provision of a course for 15 trade union educators to help them develop their capacity and skills to promote trade;

(c) Training and employment of women for a one-year assignment (ILO/UNDP, $117,000): creation of a local post of adviser in training and employment for women to help Palestinian women's organizations and technical and educational experts to follow up and implement practical income-earning projects, and advise on project planning and on skills-training needs.

2. Suggested projects for the future

50. The following projects are unfunded; cost figures are notional:

(a) Promotion of employment in the Gaza Strip, (ILO/UNDP, cost estimate not yet available): mission to analyse recent changes in the employment situation in the Gaza Strip with a view to suggesting measures for its amelioration; subjects studied would include the scope for increased employment generation in the Gaza Strip and labour market policies;

(b) Women's institute (UNDP/ILO, $1,000,000): sponsorship of a centre for women to provide technical, specialized training in such subjects as home economics, nutrition, kindergartens, family life and interior design; the centre would also disseminate information through publications on job opportunities, would meet demands for skilled personnel and would provide a focus for women's support groups;

(c) Upgrading and retraining professional personnel (UNDP/ILO, $300,00: development and sponsorship of courses for retraining professional engineers and scientists;

(d) Promotion of employers' activities (ILO/UNDP, $5,000 for each fellowship): provision of fellowships for staff members of employers' organizations for a study tour of other employers' organizations in the Arab States or in Europe.

G. Education and vocational training

51. There are two educational systems in the occupied territories, one in the West Bank, which follows the Jordanian curriculum, and one in the Gaza Strip, which follows the Egyptian curriculum. Within each territory, there are schools run by the Israeli authorities, UNRWA schools and private schools. UNRWA provides elementary and preparatory level education for refugee pupils as well as vocational, technical and teacher training. Refugee pupils rely for their secondary education on schools run by the Israeli authorities. The Israeli authorities and private institutions provide elementary, preparatory and secondary education as well as vocational and teacher training. Private institutions also provide pro-school education and special education for the handicapped. There are six private universities in the West Bank and one in the Gaza Strip.

52. UNRWA, UNESCO and UNDP officials, as well as other observers, have identified many deficiencies in the system. The drop-out rate is too high; schools at all levels suffer in varying degrees from a lack of special facilities such as libraries, laboratories and playgrounds; buildings are often in poor condition; many classes are overcrowded; sanitation facilities tend to be poor and pre-school education is available to only a few children. Opportunities for higher education, especially vocational and technical, are inadequate and are not always directly related to economic needs, and the educational needs of young women are not being met.

53. UNRWA has a long-standing education programme for refugee children, which it is constantly seeking to improve. It is assisted in this task by full-time experts from UNESCO, who are funded by UNESCO and who supervise the operations of the programme and advise on technical aspects, especially in vocational training. UNDP has been providing assistance since 1980, especially to the non-refugee sector. It has concentrated on assisting pre-primary education, on constructing schools and classrooms to avoid overcrowding, and on the development of vocational training. ILO has provided exports and consultants to assist UNDP in identifying needs. UNESCO has been assisting with the development of the Palestinian open university project, presently located at Amman. Discussions are under way for the provision of technical assistance to this project.

1. Current and planned projects

(a) Elementary and preparatory school system for refugees (UNRWA, 1987: $37,228,000; 1988: $39,090,000; 1989: $41,045,000; 1990: $43,097,000)
54. UNRWA provides nine grades of education to 40,221 pupils (18,775 boys and 21,446 girls) in 98 schools in the West Bank and 86,928 pupils (45,707 boys and 41,221 girls) in 145 schools in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA trains its teachers by means of pre-service and in-service training. It also pay the teachers and other educational staff and finances, constructs and maintains school premises and classrooms. The cost, which in 1987 is estimated at $13,416,000 in the West Bank and $23,812,000 in the Gaza Strip, is met out of the UNRWA regular programme budget. The strategy for the next three years is to increase the number of teachers as necessary to cope with the natural increase and to ensure that classroom occupancy above 50 is eliminated wherever feasible and to increase the number of supervisory staff.

(b) Technical and vocational training system for refugees (UNRWA, 1987: $5,763,000; 1988: $5,913,000); 1989: $6,209,000; 1990: $6,520,000)

55. UNRWA operates the Kalandia Men's Vocational Training Centre, the Ramallah Women's Training Centre and the Ramallah Men's Training Centre in the West Bank and the Gaza Men's Vocational Training Centre in the Gaza Strip. A number of places in the Ramallah Training Centre are reserved for young women from Gaza. Some 2,058 trainees (1,430 men and 628 women) can be accommodated. The following two-year courses were provided in 1986-1987: metal trades (seven courses), electrical trades (three courses), building trades (four courses), commercial (two courses), paramedical (three courses), technical (five courses), three other courses and teacher training. The cost of vocational training, which in 1987 is estimated at $4,193,000 in the West Bank and $1,438,000 in the Gaza Strip, is covered mostly by special contributions. The range of courses provided is regularly reviewed and courses may be discontinued or introduced, according to the demands of the local economy. UNRWA maintains a placement service to assist graduates in obtaining employment.

(c) Provision of scholarships to refugee students for higher education (UNRWA, 1987: $135,000; 1988: $140,000; 1989: $145,000; 1990: $150,000)

56. A limited number of scholarships are made available to students for study in Middle East countries. In the 1986-1987 school year 50 students from the West Bank and 59 from the Gaza Strip held scholarships. The cost of the programme is paid mainly from extrabudgetary sources. In addition, the Director-General of UNESCO has endorsed a proposal to establish a special scholarship fund for students from the occupied territories and letters to that effect were sent out in December 1986 requesting voluntary contributions.

(d) Construction of new schools, additional classrooms and sanitation blocks (UNRWA, 1987: $1,654,700); 1988: $1,737,100); 1989: $1,824,000; 1990: $1,915,000)

57. Additional classrooms are needed each year to accommodate the increased number of pupils and to avoid triple-shifting (many of the Agency's schools already operate on a double-shift basis); dilapidated or unsafe buildings must be replaced and sanitation facilities need repair or replacement. Further, particularly in the West Bank, schools are accommodated in rented premises (private houses) that are unsuitable and costly and that need to be replaced by proper school buildings. Since UNRWA cannot rely on receiving sufficient financial support to meet construction costs out of its regular programme budget, it has placed them in a special section of the budget and projects are not implemented until special contributions are received. In 1986, school construction to the value of $1,500,000 was initiated. The amount carried out between 1988 and 1990 will depend on special contributions received.

(e) Promotion of pro-primary education (UNDP, $255,460, 1981-1986)

58. UNDP has focused its support activities on improving the quality of instruction and the facilities available in the existing pre-school institutions. It has funded supervisor posts, demonstration visits, refresher courses, the purchase of furniture and furnishings as well as of educational toys and other teaching aids.

(f) Strengthening of educational institutions (UNDP, $1,450,000, 1987-1991)

59. UNDP has decided that the best use of the limited funds at its disposal was for the construction of schools and classrooms. Construction has been carried out for public schools, for UNRWA schools and, in one case, for a private non-profit-school.

(g) Promotion of technical and vocational training (UNDP, $377,222, 1981-1986: $225,000, 1987-1991)

60. During the first phase of the project, UNDP financed the establishment of training centres in Nablus, Beit Jala and Hebron (West Bank) and in Gaza and Khan Younis (Gaza Strip), which provided 18-month courses for young men in radio and TV repair and in repair of domestic appliances and 12-month courses for young women in ladies' hairdressing. Each course accommodates 18 trainees. The great majority of graduates have found employment. In the second phase, UNDP is providing assistance to two existing training institutions, one in Bethlehem (West Bank) and one in Gaza. Modern equipment is being provided to make possible training in more advanced technology such as industrial electronics (Bethlehem) and to expand an existing auto-electrical course (Gaza).

(h) Training of vocational education staff (ILO/UNDP)

61. ILO has already provided two training courses at its Turin centre, one "Training of trainers" (5 participants), the other "Management of training institutions" (10 participants). The Turin centre is available for further training course" identified as needed by ILO consultants.

(i) Assessment of vocational training needs (ILO/UNDP)

62. ILO is funding a visit to the territories in 1987 by an expert who is to formulate proposals for submission to UNDP. His terms of reference are to assess skilled manpower needs and to identify training needs in key sectors and occupational areas, to propose training programmes for meeting identified needs and to assess existing training facilities and suggest additional facilities if required.

2. Projects suggested for the future

(a) Training of teachers in computer science (UNDP, $180,000)

63. In co-operation with UNRWA, courses are to be set up in computer science for the benefit of teachers, including UNRWA teachers.

(b) Provision of adequate technical training (UNESCO, $1,000,000)

64. The provision of adequate technical training is one of the more urgent needs falling within the field of competence of UNESCO. UNESCO estimates that an initial outlay of $1,000,000 would be needed to start such an institution, with an annual outlay of some $300,000 to cover running costs. Funds for both purposes would have to come from extrabudgetary sources.

H. Health

65. Curative and preventive health services are provided in the occupied territories by the Israeli authorities, by UNRWA (to registered Palestine refugees) and by private practitioners and institutions and are delivered through a network of clinics or health centres, supplemented by both public and private hospitals. In keeping with its Agency-wide policy, UNRWA does not maintain a hospital service of its own, but subsidizes beds in existing hospitals for use by refugees needing hospitalization. As an exception, however, it administers a tuberculosis hospital in the Gaza Strip jointly with the Public Health Department, maintains a total of 59 beds for maternity cases in six health centres in the Gaza Strip and operates a small 36-bed hospital at Qalqilia in the West Bank.

66. Following surveys carried out by international experts from WHO, working on behalf of WHO and through UNRWA and UNDP, attention has been focused on areas where improvements are urgently needed, including research and development of a primary health care system, training and continuing education of health workers at all levels, training of medical specialists, equipment and facilities at hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and laboratories, dental services, ambulance services, and the maintenance and construction of premises.

67. UNRWA provides health services for the refugees with the assistance of experts made available on a full-time basis by WHO. They supervise the operation and advise on technical matters, thus ensuring that WHO health policies are followed. This co-operation has also made possible visits by WHO consultants to evaluate and advise on specific aspects of the Agency's health services. In 1986, a WHO team carried out a survey, which included the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and concluded that UNRWA was highly efficient in making the best possible use of the limited resources available and that, unless more resources were secured, little progress could be anticipated in improving the health care of the refugees.

68. UNDP and WHO, working in close collaboration since 1980, have made substantial progress towards improving the health services available for non-refugees by concentrating on research and development for primary health care and the provision of training for health workers and of equipment for institutions.

1. Current and planned projects

(a) Medical services to refugees (UNRWA, 1987: $8,103,604; 1988; $8,387,862; 1989: $8,682,295; 1990: $8,987,272)

69. In 1987, the number of refugees entitled to receive curative and preventive health services from UNRWA was 679,402, of whom 286,312 were in the West Bank and 393,390 in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA services include maternal and child health care, school health, epidemiology and communicable disease control, especially through a comprehensive immunization programme, and health education. Specialist care is provided through clinics for cardiology, ear, nose and throat diseases, tuberculosis, ophthalmology, dermatology, respiratory diseases, hypertension, diabetes, family planning and nutritional rehabilitation. The Agency also operates dental clinics and laboratory services. The Agency's objectives for this subprogramme include:

(a) Development of the primary health care system to provide acceptable standards of preventive, curative rehabilitative and supportive services to meet the basic needs of the refugee population;

(b) Improvement of the quality of patient care through upgrading the standards of diagnostic and treatment facilities in general clinics, establishing methods and procedures for monitoring the quality of care given to patients and providing health personnel with training;

(c) Modification of life-styles through health education programmes in a manner that will promote behaviour conducive to good health and the avoidance of unnecessary risks;

(d) Stimulation of community participation and strengthening intradepartmental and intersectoral co-operation.

In striving to achieve these objectives, the Agency already has an effective infectious disease control programme in place as well as a widely praised maternal and child health care system. It will continue to improve these services within available resources.

(b) Environmental health services (UNRWA, 1987: $3,178,198; 1968: $3,279,690; 1989: $3,384,474; 1990: $3,492,657)

70. UNRWA provides basic environmental health services to 332,491 refugees living in 27 camps. Of these, 92,445 refugees live in 19 camps in the West Bank and 240,046 refugees live in 8 camps in the Gaza Strip. These services, provided by Agency employees using Agency equipment, comprise the provision of adequate supplies of potable water, sanitary disposal of solid and liquid wastes, drainage of storm water and control of disease-carrying insects and rodents. In some cases, the local authorities have co-operated by constructing community water supply systems. Over the next few years, the Agency will seek to introduce measures to correct unhygienic practices, to prevent further deterioration of the situation and to protect the population from prevailing health hazards.

(c) Nutrition and supplementary feeding services (UNRWA, 1987: $5,161,542; 1988 $5,368,004; 1989: $5,582,723; 1990: $5,806,033)

71. The Agency's nutrition and supplementary feeding services provide nutritional support to vulnerable groups, namely, infants and pre-school children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and tuberculosis patients. This support is provided through (a) monthly milk distribution to children 6 to 36 months old and non-breast-fed babies under 6 months as well as to pregnant women, nursing mothers and tuberculosis patients, (b) daily mid-day meals to children up to six years of age and to older ones upon medical recommendation and (c) special extra rations to tuberculosis patients and to pregnant women from the fifth month of pregnancy and for one year after delivery. In 1986, the number of beneficiaries were as follows:

West Bank
Mid-day meal
Milk distribution
Pregnant women and nursing mothers
Tuberculosis patients

72. Over the next three years, the Agency will seek to address the problems of underweight children and the increasing number of refugees who, because of declining economic conditions, need dietary assistance. It will do this through the identification of individuals at risk and of risk factors, followed by the implementation of corrective measures. Pilot projects for research, education and intervention will be introduced in a selected community in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

(d) Construction of health facilities and equipment (UNRWA, 1987: $949,500; 1988: $987,480; 1989: $1,026,979; 1990: $1,068,058)

73. Many UNRWA buildings date from the early 1950s and are in need of repair, extension or replacement. New equipment is also required. Construction and other capital costs are budgeted separately from the UNRWA regular programme budget and expenditure cannot begin until special contributions have been received. Of the $204,000 budgeted for 1987, $40,000 is for the West Bank and $164,000 is for the Gaza Strip. Should funds be made available, they would make possible the establishment and construction of two eye clinics, the purchase of garbage collection equipment, the construction of a maternal and child health centre, and the extension of an existing health centre.

(e) Development and strengthening of health institutions (UNDP, $1,135,630)

74. Based on the advice of consultants, UNDP decided to concentrate its resources on upgrading equipment in existing hospitals and clinics. Accordingly, it has instituted projects at a cost of over $1 million, by which equipment was supplied to some 10 public hospitals, laboratories and training institutions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This project is being continued during the current five-year cycle. By continuing, systematically and according to priorities set by consultants, to provide more advanced equipment to key hospitals in the occupied territories, UNDP is making a substantial contribution towards the solution of these problems. UNDP is also ensuring that these modern services are more accessible by providing modern equipment to smaller hospitals, clinics and group practices in towns away from the city medical centres.

(f) Training of health personnel (UNDP, health manpower development: $859,891; specialized training in anaesthesiology: $509,320

75. A plan was drawn up initially to establish a medical training centre that would accommodate 250 candidates - 200 in nursing and 50 in various medical specialities. In 1983, $2 million was allocated for this purpose and an additional $5 million was sought to cover establishment and start-up costs. Unfortunately, in the absence of adequate supplementary funding and of agreement on details concerning the management of the centre, UNDP has had to postpone further action, although it has been providing training opportunities for medical personnel. Twenty fellowships have already been taken up. Current projects will finance two-year specialized courses for 12 doctors from the West Bank and 8 from the Gaza Strip. UNDP has also arranged two-year courses for training in anaesthesiology Cur 25 doctors (15 from the West Bank and 10 from the Gaza Strip).

WHO collaborating centres in primary health care research (WHO/UNDP, 1984-1985: $331,018; 1986-1987: $231,000; 1988-1989: $250,000

76. Acting on a 1982 decision of the World Health Assembly and in co-operation with UNDP, WHO has designated three medical centres in the occupied territories. Based on the concept of collaborating centres, which has proved effective elsewhere, WHO has so designated the Ramallah Health Services Research Centre, the Gaza Health Services Research Centre and the Health Manpower Development Working Group at Ramallah.

77. The current priority activities of the Ramallah Health Services Research Centre include an ongoing evaluation of a programme of expanded primary health care, studies on monitoring the growth and development of children, monitoring of the immunization programme through continued serological surveys, evaluative studies on the practice and outcomes of the work of dayahs (traditional birth attendants) and a series of studies related to infant mortality and to the monitoring of child growth.

78. The Gaza Health Services Research Centre has developed into an excellent source of health information and epidemiological monitoring of the health status of the population of the Gaza Strip. It has developed both routine reporting systems and specially commissioned epidemic logical and ether studies, particularly related to identifying risk factors and the risk approach for developing intervention programmes. At the core of its activities for the future will be the development of a computerized public health reporting system for the area.

79. The Health Manpower Development Working Group of the Health services of the West Bank was set up to meet the need for forward planning through 1990 of all aspects of the planning, co-ordination, development and evaluation of manpower needs. Priority is being given to the need for co-ordinated and expanded medical, nursing and paramedical manpower training and continuing education. The central Focus of the Group's work will be on the projection of manpower needs, the setting of priorities for the training programmes required and the preparation of an evolving overall health manpower plan for the area. It will be responsible for developing pilot in-service continuing education programmes, a pilot orientation programme for young physicians returning to the area, and short-term intensive training programmes, including those for much needed specialist physicians, all of these to be designed with a continuing built-in system for evaluation.

80. Apart from the recognition and technical support that designation as a WHO collaborating centre implies, funds have been made available to provide staffing support, research training and essential scientific and office equipment to enable the staff of the centres to develop and expand their respective activities.

81. WHO regularly evaluates the work of these centres and has worked out detailed plans for the expansion of their activities over the next three years and the next five years. WHO is enthusiastic about the results achieved so far and sees a genuine need for their continued fundings at a rate of about $500,000 each biennium. To date they have been funded by WHO but it is now foreseen that extrabudgetary sources will have to be sought.

(h) Health services training (WHO/UNDP)

82. Since 1984, WHO has awarded six Palestinian physicians (five from the West Bank and one from Gaza strip) one-year fellowships for training in public health. WHO has also sponsored a health services training workshop for some 22 senior participants.

(i) Support to WHO collaborating centres for studies related to maternal health and family planning (UNFPA/WHO/UNDP, $91,035)

83. This project, for which funding is expected from UNFPA, will be under the general direction of WHO and receive managerial support from UNDP. It is intended to provide support for those activities of the WHO collaborating centres that most closely concern maternal and child health, including family planning.

(j) Fellowships in population related studies (UNFPA/UNDP, $133,200)

84. UNFPA is financing six post-graduate fellowships to be implemented by UNDP in population-related fields including data collection and analysis, population education, maternal and child health including family planning and population and development. Three fellowships are for study in Europe and three for study at the Cairo Demographic Centre.

(k) Training course in environmental health UNEP, $$67,000)

85. UNEP is planning a training course on the improvement of environmental health in the refugee camps in collaboration with WHO, UNICEF and UNRWA. The course, which will be held in the area, will be attended by environmental health officers and will focus on water supply, sanitation, pollution control and sound management of environment related diseases in the Palestine refugee camps and settlements, including those in the occupied territories.

2. Projects suggested for the future (all cost figures are notional)

86. The following projects are proposed:

(a) Village clinics (UNDP, $2,000,000): establishment of 10 to 15-bed clinics in remote villages where health services are not presently available;

(b) Ambulance services (UNDP, $1,000,000): establishment of emergency ambulance services staffed by qualified paramedics;

(c) Development and strengthening of health institutions (UNDP, $2,500,000): extension of existing projects to provide modern specialized medical equipment to all types of health institutions)

(d) Development of training centres for medical technicians (UNDP, $2,500,000): expansion of existing health training centres to provide advanced training for medical technicians, specialized nurses and paramedical personnel;

(e) Medical specialization fellowships (UNDP, $500,000): provision of further fellowships to general practitioners for specialization in medical fields where an under-supply exists.

I. Social welfare

87. Social welfare services are provided by UNRWA to the refugee population and by the Israeli authorities to non-refugees. Charitable organizations are also active in the field. The main services include assistance to the needy and to the handicapped, especially children, as well as support for community activities centres for young people and women.

88. In the experience of UNRWA, the recent decline in economic activity has led to an increasing need for assistance among the refugee population in the occupied territories. This is probably also true of the non-refugee population. Moreover, although UNRWA and local organizations do what they can to encourage the development of women's and youth groups and to provide them with facilities, much remains to be done. Special training and rehabilitation facilities for the handicapped are also few in number.

89. UNRWA has been endeavouring to meet social welfare needs of refugees since it began operations in 1950. It once provided food rations to the majority of refugees but, since the general ration distribution was discontinued in 1982, it now distributes rations only to those families that meet strict criteria and are designated as special hardship cases. It has also established and maintained youth activities and women's activities centres and has provided welfare counselling to refugees as its resources have allowed.

90. In 1980, UNDP initiated special projects to assist youth, women and handicapped children at a cost of $70,119, $147,903 and $431.088, respectively. The youth programme was designed to strengthen institutions and organizations that had potential for assisting young people and for developing youth counselling services. UNDP provided training in youth work and provided equipment and supplies to improve facilities at community centres and community libraries in Nablus (West Bank) and Rafah (Gaza Strip).

91. The women's programme aimed at strengthening existing community centres for women by providing equipment and training for the improvement of women's skills in home economics, sewing, knitting, literacy, hygiene, nutrition and secretarial work. UNDP also organized seminars for women on product promotion and marketing and on the introduction of new skills.

92. The programme for assistance to handicapped children consisted of three projects. Under the first, UNDP provided financial support for instructors and equipment to an institution in Gaza at which 35 deaf, blind, physically handicapped or mildly mentally retarded children received medical attention, counselling and vocational training. Under the second, UNDP provided equipment to set up a centre for 25 mentally retarded boys and contracted with a West Bank union of charitable societies to operate it. The third project involved assistance to two centres in Gaza, one each for boys and girls, for vocational rehabilitation of school drop-outs. Remedial courses and counselling were provided. UNDP reports that the results exceeded expectations and that the activities are continuing under other sponsorships.

93. Since 1983 the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs/Branch for the Advancement of Women has been preparing reports on the situation of women and children living in the occupied Arab territories (see E/CN.6/1984/10, A/CONF.116/16 and E/CN.6/1986/7). The Centre is currently preparing a comprehensive report on the situation of Palestinian women living within and outside the occupied Arab territories, which will be submitted to the Commission on the Status of Women at its thirty-second session in 1988. The report will focus on the identification of the main humanitarian needs of Palestinian women. On the basis of the report and conclusions of the Commission, future projects of assistance to Palestinian women will be elaborated. These projects should become an integral part of the United Nations programme of assistance to the Palestinian people. In view of the fact that women's issues have been given the highest priority in the United Nations system, women's specific needs and concerns should be taken into consideration, wherever possible, in the implementation of the programme.

1. Current and planned activities

(a) Assistance to special hardship cases among refugees (UNRWA, 1987: $8,547,353; 1988: $8,886,011; 1989; $9,238,119; 1990: $9,604,211)

94. In 1987, 59,000 refugees were classified as special hardship cases, 24,000 in the West Bank and 35,000 in the Gaza Strip. Of the total budgeted expenditure for 1987, $5,085,502 was for the West Bank and $3,461,851 for the Gaza Strip. Assistance provided to special hardship cases consists of food rations (the equivalent of 1,850 calories a day), blankets, clothing, small cash grants and shelter repair. A programme to enable families to become self-supporting has been introduced recently. In the coming years, UNRWA will seek to improve the quality of assistance, to develop more income-generating and self-support schemes and to obtain a broader involvement of non-governmental organizations.

(b) Welfare services to refugees (UNRWA, 1987: $853,987; 1988: $881,955; 1989: $910,857; 1990: $940,722)

95. Welfare services are provided to all refugees wishing to avail themselves of them. They consist of youth activities centres, women's activities centres, sewing and carpentry training centres, limited assistance to the disabled and social counselling. Youth activities centres promote sport and cultural activities for young people, especially for those living in camps. Women's activities centres provide a meeting point for women for cultural activities as well as for courses in literacy and home economics. Sewing and carpentry centres give the refugees the basic knowledge needed to establish small businesses. UNRWA intends to continue these activities within the limits of available funding while, at the same time, seeking to increase community interest and involvement.

(c) Assistance to the blind (UNRWA, 1987: $218,097; 1988: $226,821; 1989: $235,894; 1990; $245,329)

96. UNRWA administers and operates a training centre for the blind in Gaza on behalf of a non-governmental organization that furnishes most of the funds required. The centre provides special education for blind children and vocational training for blind adults. UNRWA can continue this operation only so long as the requisite financial support is forthcoming.

(d) Construction in support of relief services to refugees (UNRWA, 1987: $282,100; 1988: $293,384; 1989: $305,119; 1990: $317,324)

97. UNRWA plans to carry out much needed construction in support of its relief services that can only be implemented when special contributions are received. Of the total amount budgeted for 1987, $450,000 is for expenditure in the West Bank and $442,000 in the Gaza Strip. Projects envisaged include a storm-water disposal system in a camp, renovation and extension of existing sewing centres, renovation of a water system in a camp, construction of new latrines in a camp, construction of a new women's activities centre and construction at the training centre for the blind.

J. Human settlements

98. The living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories have been a matter of continuing concern to the international community, especially through the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) since its establishment in 1978. In response to various resolutions of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on Human Settlements (Habitat) has produced a series of comprehensive analytical studies on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, prepared by expert consultants (see A/35/533 and Corr.1, A/36/260 and Add.1-3, A/37/238, A/38/278 and A/39/233). In addition and in response to General Assembly resolution 39/169, Habitat organized a seminar held at Vienna from 25 to 29 March 1985 that considered remedies for the deterioration of the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories (for the report of the seminar, see A/40/373-E/1985/99).

99. In 1986, the Executive Director submitted to the Commission at its ninth session a report (HS/C/9/6/Add.4) on the activities for the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless in the occupied Palestinian territories, which contained 26 specific project proposals in the field of human settlements. The Executive Director has since written to potential donor countries, financial institutions and relevant United Nations organizations, drawing their attention to these specific project proposals and requesting them to give favourable consideration to their financing.

100. In 1987, Habitat organized a seminar on priority development projects needed for improving the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories. (For projects recommended, see para. 12 above) for the report of the seminar, see A/42/183-E/1987/53.) In addition, the Executive Director presented a report to the Commission at its tenth session (HS/C/10/3/Add.3), which contained a study prepared by an expert consultant on the institutions and instruments needed for financing and implementing a housing programme in the occupied Palestinian territories.

1. Current projects; training fellowships (funded)

101. Habitat has offered nine middle-level training fellowships in the field of human settlements for qualified Palestinians.

2. Projects suggested for the future (unfunded)

102. These include the 26 specific projects listed in document HS/C/9/6/Add.4 and those recommended by the 1987 seminar listed in paragraph 12 above. Additionally, Habitat has indicated its willingness, subject to the agreement of the parties concerned, to implement such projects as a housing survey in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, provision of construction machinery and equipment for municipalities and co-operatives, establishment of a housing fund and provision of fellowship".


103. The programme outlined above includes both funded and unfunded projects. In general, those classified an current and planned are funded and those for the future are unfunded. Of the current and planned projects, those for implementation by UNRWA are funded for 1987 and are included in the UNRWA medium-term plan for 1988 to 1990 as part of its regular programme budget. If, as in past years, UNRWA receives sufficient funds to enable it to maintain its regular programme, it may be assumed that those projects will be implemented. Those for implementation by UNDP comprise the projects included in the 1987-1991 cycle, for which an initial amount of $8 million from UNDP central resources has been allocated. It should be noted, however, that some of UNDP's current and planned projects are being funded by special contributions. Other project are funded by other programmes and agencies, such as ILO, WHO and UNFPA, but are administered by UNDP, funding for which is made available by the organizations concerned from their own regular budgets. Other projects, such as those being carried out independently by UNCSDHA, UNICEF, UNCTAD, UNEP, ESCWA, Habitat, FAO, UNESCO, UPU, ITU, WMO, IMO, WIPO and UNIDO are financed either from their regular budgets or from extrabudgetary funds at their disposal.

104. The projects suggested for the future are, in the main, relatively costly and financing for most of them must be sought from extrabudgetary sources. The inescapable need follows that all concerned with the economic and social development of the Palestinian people should make concerted efforts to secure the funding required. It is hoped that this draft programme will provide a useful base from which appeals for funds may be launched.

105. There are undeniable impediments to the implementation of a programme in the occupied territories that do not exist in the case of a normal country programme. These impediments, however, should not be regarded as insurmountable. UNRWA has operated in the occupied territories since 1967 in accordance with its mandate and with specific agreements reached with the Israeli authorities. UNDP has developed a set of arrangements that have enabled it to establish and expand its programme in the occupied territories. Other agencies and programmes such as ILO, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO, have also developed arrangements to make it possible for them to operate in the occupied territories either through UNDP and UNRWA or independently. A start has been made, foundations have been laid, programmes and projects are being implemented, valuable experience has been gained, needs and possibilities are more clearly perceived, modalities have been worked out and co-operative relationships with the local Palestinian population have been established. With the goodwill and co-operation of all concerned, there seems to be no reason why this process could not be continued and expanded.


1/ FAO has expressed interest in partially or totally executing the project.

2/ FAO has expressed interest in being designated as the executing agency for the project, which falls within its field of competence. It is not, however, in a position to provide financial support for the project.

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