"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
In August 2009, the 13th Government of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) announced and published its program to unify Palestinian society and friends in the international community behind the effort to end the occupation and establish the State of Palestine in two years. This document sets out the PNA’s high priority interventions to be initiated or continued in 2010 to implement this program.
The Ministry of Planning and Administrative Development and the Ministry of Finance have worked closely with all government ministries and relevant government agencies to define and initiate these priority interventions. This collaborative effort will continue as the PNA drives forward with the implementation. The PNA will also work closely with international partners to mobilize timely and effective external aid to ensure that the priority interventions deliver tangible progress and positive change for our citizens living throughout the territory occupied in June 1967.
The priority interventions pay particular attention to the need to bring equitable relief and development to all of our citizens living throughout the homeland. In order to make the State of Palestine a sustainable reality, we must deliver consistent levels of quality public services throughout the land on the 1967 borders. This requires the consolidation of institutions with jurisdiction and sovereignty across a contiguous state, and the establishment of strategic infrastructure that meets the needs of a growing and forward-looking population.
The 13th Government also places great emphasis on ensuring that the State of Palestine takes its rightful place in the international community of nations. Throughout 2010 and beyond, we will continue our proactive effort to build bridges with international partners. We want to ensure that Palestine becomes a significant contributor to constructive international relations, stability and prosperity.
The publication of the program of the 13th Government Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State heralded a new era in the PNA’s approach to institution-building, reform and development. First and foremost, the Government program introduced the concept of organizing development and institution-building activities to expedite ending the occupation despite the constraints it imposes.
This approach differs somewhat from that taken in formulating Palestinian National Policy Agenda (PNPA), which was the guiding policy framework of the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP) 2008-10. Essentially, the PNPA and PRDP were primarily focused on approaches to socio-economic and institutional development within the constraints imposed by the occupation. This approach was based on the assumption that those constraints would be progressively lifted during the three year time frame of the PRDP, creating space for sustainable freedom of movement, security and economic growth.
In reality, however, the occupation regime has remained in place in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. East Jerusalem, the cultural and economic hub of Palestine, remains isolated. In the rest of the West Bank, as in East Jerusalem, Israeli settlement activity has continued and access and development have continued to be highly constrained by a myriad of physical and functional restrictions, while the siege on Gaza has been tightened. Faced with these developments on the ground, the 13th Government resolved to take the initiative and redouble the PNA’s efforts to bring reform and development despite the occupation, and consolidate the institutions of the State of Palestine in two years.
As we enter the final year of the national planning cycle, the final year of the PRDP, the PNA has already begun the task of developing the Palestinian National Plan (PNP) 2011-13. This national plan is being constructed on the foundations of the PRDP 2008-10 and will be aligned with the vision of building towards national independence and sovereignty articulated in the Program of the 13th Government. The PNP 2011-13 will be completed in the summer of 2010 and will inform the PNA’s budgets for 2011 through 2013. In addition, acknowledging the need to reflect the 13th Government’s new approach in the allocation of its budgetary resources, the PNA has also worked through the second half of 2009 to identify and assess the highest priority reform and development initiatives which need to continue or to be initiated in 2010.
It is important to recognize that this document is not a new national plan. It does not in any way invalidate ongoing or planned activities in relation to the implementation of the PRDP 2008-10, to which the PNA remains committed. The priority interventions highlighted herein are based on PNA ministries’ 2010 budget submissions which are aligned with the PRDP. This represents the culmination of an effort, in which all PNA ministries and agencies participated in identifying those high priority interventions that need to be initiated or continued in 2010 to support the realization of an independent, viable and sovereign State of Palestine over the next two years. Accordingly, this document will be a strategic guide for all PNA bodies as they work collectively towards realizing the vision of the 13th Government Program during the coming year. It will also help guide dialogue with our international international partners and inform decision-making regarding the provision of external support to the PNA.
2. Guiding Principles
The list of high priority interventions to be initiated or continued in 2010 has been developed in line with the overarching objective of the 13th Government to unify Palestinian society and friends in the international community behind the effort to end the occupation and establish the State of Palestine in two years. This must be underpinned by support of Palestinians’ perseverance in the city of Jerusalem and reduction of the development gaps between the West Bank and Gaza. The 13th Government is therefore determined to implement its development programs throughout the Palestinian territory occupied in June 1967, irrespective of classifications or divisions imposed by the occupation regime.
These guiding principles informed four thematic areas used to identify high priority interventions in PNA ministries’ and agencies’ 2010 budget submissions. High priority has been given to interventions designed to:
• Upgade public service delivery to all citizens throughout the Palestinian territory occupied in June 1967.
• Launch major projects to build strategically significant infrastructure throughout the Palestinian territory occupied in June 1967.
• Improve and promote the image of Palestine internationally and the role which the State of Palestine will play in bringing stability and prosperity to the region.
The list of high priority interventions has been developed through a joint effort by the Ministry of Planning and Administrative Development (MoPAD) and the Ministry of Finance (MoF), in close coordination with all PNA ministries and relevant agencies.
Development project proposals, submitted to the MoF by all PNA ministries and agencies as part of the 2010 national budgeting process, were aggregated and evaluated against the above-mentioned selection criteria. Based on this evaluation, an initial list of priority interventions was compiled and distributed to all ministries and agencies for further consultation and feedback. Civil society institutions were also consulted on their evaluation of the initial list of interventions.
Based on an assessment of the gaps in the initial budget submissions relative to the Program of the 13th Government, MoPAD also issued guidance to ministries and agencies aimed at expanding and refining the list of priority interventions. This guidance, which was endorsed by the PNA Council of Ministers, clarified the selection criteria and encouraged ministries and agencies to develop additional initiatives that specifically address gaps in eight priority areas.
A consolidated and refined list of priority interventions was submitted for debate and approval by the PNA Council of Ministers. The final list, attached at Annex 1, was approved on 28 December 2009.
4. Summary of Priority Interventions
The list of priority interventions highlights a total of 201 development projects which the Council of Ministers has decided to categorize as high priority initiatives for implementation through 2010 and beyond. Some of these projects are already funded and are being implemented on the ground. Others are funded, or partially funded, and are due for implementation. There are also many projects which are either unfunded or which have yet to move beyond the pledging stage.
The cost estimates represent the total cost of implementing the projects. Most projects, particularly the large infrastructure projects (which account for 67% of the total estimated cost), will take several years to complete. The PNA estimates that development expenditure during the year 2010 will be within the USD 667 million threshold established in the PRDP 2008-10 macroeconomic framework.
Table 1 below provides a summary of the number and estimated total cost of the priority interventions and their current funding and implementation status.
The Council of Ministers has asked MoPAD and MoF to work closely with line ministries, other government agencies and international partners to ensure that the high priority status of these interventions is factored into future decisions regarding the allocation of internal and external resources.
5. Next Steps
At the request of the Council of Ministers, beginning in January 2010, MoPAD and MoF will establish a process to follow-up on the implementation of the priority interventions highlighted in this document. This process will involve:
• Tracking the conversion of pledges into hard commitments and disbursements.
• Monitoring and evaluating the outputs and outcomes of implementation of projects.