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|Partnerships with Canadians||1.11|
Progress on development in the West Bank and Gaza is directly tied to the successful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian and internal Palestinian conflicts. Restrictions on access and movement in the West Bank and the takeover of Gaza by Hamas give the Palestinian governing body, the Palestinian Authority (PA), limited jurisdiction and control and impede socio-economic development. Despite large aid flows, progress toward the Millennium Development Goals is negligible and in some cases regressing, especially with respect to poverty, hunger, health, education, and the environment.
Almost 58 percent of Palestinians live in poverty, and about half of this group lives in extreme poverty. About 50 percent of Palestinians experience or risk experiencing food insecurity. Food insecurity is particularly severe in Gaza, where the majority of the population relies on humanitarian assistance to survive. The rate of chronic malnutrition in children under the age of five has increased, reaching almost 10 percent, and the mortality figures for children under the age of one and under the age of five have each increased by about 30 percent. Anaemia is common, with 55 percent of children under the age of three affected by the condition. Among pregnant women, the rate is 36 percent—46 percent for nursing mothers. The West Bank and Gaza ranks 114 out of 187 countries on the United Nations Development Programme's 2011 human development index.
In 2009, as part of Canada's new aid effectiveness agenda, the West Bank and Gaza was selected by CIDA as a country of focus. The goal of CIDA's strategy for the West Bank and Gaza is to help build a more just and prosperous society, with improved living conditions for Palestinians. In line with Canadian objectives, CIDA's program in the West Bank and Gaza is intended to contribute to the establishment of a future Palestinian state as part of a comprehensive peace settlement.
CIDA's program in the West Bank and Gaza is aligned with the requirements identified in the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP) for 2008-2011 (PDF, 2.60 MB, 140 pages). The PRDP is a bottom-up policy-making, planning, and budgeting process developed by the PA. The three-year plan aims to lay the foundations for a future Palestinian state and to build its infrastructure and economy. In support of the PRDP, CIDA's engagement strategy highlights justice sector reform, private sector development, and humanitarian assistance as sectors of focus.
CIDA's non-humanitarian assistance is limited to the West Bank. In Hamas-controlled Gaza, CIDA only funds humanitarian projects using trusted partners, such as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
CIDA will help increase food security and assist in securing the future of Palestinian children and youth through humanitarian assistance.
CIDA will support private sector development to help stimulate sustainable economic growth by improving the legal and regulatory environment for small- and medium-sized enterprises. CIDA will also help Palestinian businesses expand and reach new markets by strengthening the capacity of Palestinian institutions that provide trade support.
CIDA's primary focus lies in justice sector reform. Building on Canada's history of support to security sector reform and through involvement with the United States Security Coordinator, CIDA's efforts ensure that the interlinked justice and security sectors are both supported. Initiatives will help respond to the need for the PA to build accountable and effective institutions and redress the limitations that are prevalent in the justice sector. CIDA concentrates on enhancing the capacity of public sector security and justice institutions, on fostering peace and security, and on improving respect for the rule of law.
Main initiatives include the provision of assistance to:
CIDA's contribution will help clear the court case backlog, build public confidence in judicial institutions, and strengthen rule of law, lending to an environment that will accommodate investment and economic growth. This will foster direct links between the enhancement of rule of law and the business-enabling environment, will increase the capacity for governance, and reduce the poverty and vulnerability of Palestinians.
The PA has taken ownership of the development process, working with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to establish the PRDP and adhering to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (PDF, 317 KB, 23 pages) as the plan got underway. At the working level, the PA has established sector working groups to ensure cooperation and the sharing of information among donors. As part of Canada's commitment to aid effectiveness, CIDA actively participates in these working groups and plays a leading role in donor coordination efforts in the justice sector.
In their efforts to pursue the objectives of the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action (PDF, 885 KB, 7 pages), donors have used various mechanisms to share information, avoid duplication, and coordinate and align their support with assessed local needs. To facilitate harmonization of their procedures, donors have three mechanisms through which they can provide budgetary support: the PA's central single treasury account, the World Bank's trust fund, and the European Commission's financial instrument known as PEGASE.
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