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The Government of Canada is committed to promoting sustainable economic growth, peace and stability in the Middle East. To this end, on January 20, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced $66 million in additional support for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza to help advance the peace process, promote security and the rule of law, stimulate sustainable economic growth and deliver humanitarian assistance.
Canadian support will go towards training and technical assistance that will help the Palestinian people strengthen their institutions and the rule of law. It will also be used to promote economic growth and job creation by helping start-up firms and existing micro, small and mid-sized enterprises improve their competitiveness and access new markets. There will also be particular emphasis on encouraging women’s entrepreneurship. Support will be provided to the Office of the Quartet Representative and to Palestinian Authority security institutions to help advance the Middle East Peace Process.
More specifically, the support will be allocated as follows:
Canadian-Palestinian Entrepreneurship Support
This initiative will help Palestinian start-up firms and existing micro, small and mid-sized enterprises in the West Bank improve their competitiveness and access new markets, in order to increase economic opportunities and employment for Palestinian women and men.
By addressing key issues such as innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development, this Canadian initiative will help create jobs and reduce Palestinian aid dependency.
Food Assistance to Non-Refugees
Canada’s contribution will provide assistance for Palestinians in need in the West Bank and Gaza. The implementing partner of this support will be the World Food Programme.
With this Canadian support, implementing partner, the Canadian Red Cross Society, will work directly with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society to identify key areas that would ensure the greatest effectiveness for Canada’s contribution in addressing humanitarian needs in the West Bank and Gaza.
Direct Support to the Middle East Peace Process
Support to the Palestinian security sector will help strengthen and professionalize its institutions, strengthen the rule of law, and further the objective of ultimately providing Israel with a capable and reliable partner for security in the West Bank. In partnership with the United States Security Coordinator, and with the active support of the Department of National Defence through its Operation PROTEUS, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will focus on the provision of technical assistance to the Palestinian Authority Security Forces. Specific projects and implementing partners are yet to be identified.
Direct Support to the Quartet
This funding will support the Middle East Peace Process and the Office of the Quartet Representative in its mandate to promote Palestinian economic growth and job creation. It will also support institution-building efforts by the Palestinian Authority. The implementing partner of this support will be the Office of the Quartet Representative.
Stimulating Economic Growth through Women’s Entrepreneurship
This initiative will promote economic growth and job creation by encouraging women’s entrepreneurship in the West Bank. The support provided would be expected to help increase women's involvement in economic activities, increase their ability to develop their businesses, and generate job opportunities.
Canada’s development program in the West Bank and Gaza focuses on advancing the peace process, strengthening justice and security reform, promoting economic growth and delivering humanitarian assistance to help improve the lives of Palestinians.
Since the signing of the Oslo peace accords in 1993 and the creation of the Palestinian Authority, Canada has provided more than $650 million in development assistance for the West Bank and Gaza.