UNDP in the occupied Palestinian territory

Who we are

The UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP) derives its mandate from United Nations General Assembly Resolution 33/147 of 20 December 1978. Called upon by United Nations Member States in that year, UNDP was requested “to improve the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people by identifying their social and economic needs and by establishing concrete projects to that end”.

With the adoption of the GA Resolution, UNDP seized a historic opportunity to mobilize the international community in support of the economic and social development of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Firmly rooted in the principle of the Right to Development, UNDP/PAPP was launched. The continued occupation of the territory, and its severe socio-economic consequences, serve as a stark reminder of the critical role that UNDP/PAPP continues to play today, almost four decades after its establishment.

What we do

Anchored in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and committed to the principles of universality, equality and leaving no one behind, the UNDP vision for the Strategic Plan, 2018-2021 is to support countries by eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, accelerating structural transformations for sustainable development and building resilience to crises and shocks.  

In partnership with Palestinian institutions, civil society, and donors, UNDP/PAPP’s goal is to support the Palestinian People to establish a viable State that is able to realize the right to development for its people and support their socio-economic resilience. Since its establishment, UNDP/PAPP has delivered over USD 1.7 billion in development assistance to the Palestinian People, and generated over 4 million workdays.

UNDP/PAPP places resilience and sustainability at the centre of its operation and focuses on three priority areas: the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and Area C, where the needs are the greatest. Under the rubric of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UNDP/PAPP focuses on democratic governance and the rule of law, economic empowerment and private sector development, environment and management of natural resources, public and social infrastructure, as well as gender equality.

UNDP/PAPP’s support in the governance sector is aligned to Palestinian national priorities and focuses on the rule of law and access to justice, national unity and social cohesion, inclusion and participation, local governance, and public administration reform to build strong and accountable institutions.

To reduce poverty, UNDP/PAPP prioritizes support to the most vulnerable communities and families through sustainable economic empowerment approaches that help people enhance their self-reliance and become gradually less reliant on aid. Efforts are made in the areas of promoting private sector productivity, employment schemes, and micro-entrepreneurship, social safety nets for the most vulnerable families, agricultural management, and basic infrastructure for improved service delivery.

UNDP/PAPP’s environment and natural resources portfolio focuses on strengthening environmental and water governance, mobilizing environmental financing, improving access to environmental services such as water supply and sanitation, solid waste management, and energy; mainstreaming environment and climate change, and developing the capacities of Palestinian State institutions in climate change adaptation and mitigation.

UNDP/PAPP also focuses on social, public and economic infrastructure as well as early recovery and reconstruction to support the resilience of Palestinian marginalized communities, especially in Area C, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Interventions cover five key sectors; access to energy, transportation, housing, education and health. UNDP/PAPP continues to uphold its mandate to the Palestinian people by exploring new approaches and drawing on its corporate and strategic partnerships at the global and local levels.


In partnership with Palestinian institutions, civil society, communities and donors, UNDP/PAPP’s goal is to empower the Palestinian People to establish a viable State that is able to realize the right to development for its people and support their socio-economic resilience. In 2017, UNDP/PAPP delivered over USD 110 million in development assistance to the Palestinian People.

Over 410,000 job opportunities were generated through labour intensive infrastructure. In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, 114,000 people benefited from improved access to basic services. Investment opportunities for 40 businesses were enhanced through the provision of building infrastructure at the Jericho Industrial Park. Following the revitalization of the Khan Al Wakaleh historical site, 40,000 tourists are expected to visit annually, generating income to the city and creating jobs. Access to improved housing conditions was provided to 600 disadvantaged people, with focus on women. The learning environment for 3,000 students was enhanced by through our support to the education sector in East Jerusalem. In terms of healthcare, quality access to cancer health care for 1,500 patients annually was ensured through the expansion of the existing chemotherapy department at the Augusta Victoria hospital. Additional support to the health system in the West Bank in 2018 will continue with an aim to improve quality services for 30,000 patients annually.

In Gaza, support continued to internally displaced people, with focus on women headed households, through cash assistance for 294 families, and the reconstruction of 1,014 homes, benefiting 6,386 people. 46 schools and higher education institutes were completed, serving 119,000 students. Access to safe water and sanitation was also enhanced for 200,000 people through the rehabilitation of damaged sewage and water networks across the Gaza Strip. rehabilitation and reconstruction works at two key hospitals in Gaza resulted in strengthening health services provision for 650,000 people. Construction for Khan Younis WWTP is undergoing and will serve 340,000 people. Rehabilitation of Gaza Industrial Estate ongoing aiming to provide business opportunities to 2,000 people.

UNDP, in the framework of the joint UNDP/UN Women/UNICEF Sawasya programme, continued providing capacity support to police and justice institutions including through the establishment of a unified complain office and the launching of a gender strategy for the Palestinian civil police and the training of specialized security and justice personals on Gender based violence and juvenile justice related issues and the opening of the pilot one-stop center in Ramallah for female victims of violence. UNDP also continued its support in providing legal aid for vulnerable populations through the creation of a pro-bono legal aid scheme by 130 lawyers and the provision of free legal aid through civils society organizations to more than 4,707 individuals in Gaza and the West Bank of which 3,293 women.

Additionally, UNDP improved the capacities of 14 Local Government Units (LGUs) in the areas of service delivery. An assessment study has identified areas of weaknesses and proposed plans for future interventions to enhance LGUs capacities.

In Area C of the West Bank, 205 dunums of new agricultural land has been reclaimed, benefitting 375 persons and increasing their income. Installation and rehabilitation of 21.3 km of water networks were installed and rehabilitated, benefitting 4,712 Palestinians. This has resulted in irrigating a total of 2,850 dunums of agricultural land. In addition, a study has been carried out for the available water resources and their capacities in the Tubas cluster. As such, the Ministry of Agriculture can now better direct the water resources in Tubas cluster for agricultural use. A total of 520 Bedouins have benefitted from clean energy generated through the installation of 52 solar units.