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Development cooperation

The priority objective of Belgian Development Cooperation is sustainable human development. It must achieve this objective by reducing poverty and inequity within a context of partnerships.. It must also generate and increase the Belgian public's support for North-South solidarity and our cooperation policy.  The Sustainable Development Goals, the principle of leaving no-one behind and the humanitarian commitments through the grand bargain are central elements of our policy.

Cooperation programme

The Belgian development Cooperation has a close partnership with the Palestinian Authority since May 2000. The General Agreement was signed in Ramallah on 12 November 2001. The fourth Indicative Cooperation Programme (ICP) for Governmental aid was signed on the 23th of November 2011 with a total envelope of 71,6 million EUR and included delegated cooperation with the EU (Pegase), UNHABITAT (East Jerusalem), UNDP (environment strategies) and the World Bank (water and sanitation). The priority sectors are Education and Local Governance. In November 2020, Belgium reconfirmed its long-standing partnership by providing an additional 10 Million Euros for two years. This is an extension of the ongoing afore-mentioned bilateral portfolio covering the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The implementation of the Development Cooperation agreement is carried-out by the Belgian Development Agency, ENABEL.

The contribution of 10 million Euro will focus on:

  1. Enhancing youth employability by providing them with the appropriate training programs and boosting their 21 century skills in line with the needs of the labour market and the Palestinian Private Sector.
  2. Improving access to education in East Jerusalem through the creation of a healthy, safe, and environmentally sound educational systemfor students and the community at large.
  3. Contributing to the climate action through supporting Local Government Units in the West Bank. Local economic development including green initiatives such as solid waste management, recycling, renewable energy and green jobs will be encouraged and prioritized.

Beyond the bilateral aid program some supplementary contributions are also attributed to:

  • U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA): an important yearly Belgian contribution of about 8 to 10 million EUR
  • OCHA, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
  • Emergency funds via Belgian NGO’s or international NGO’s
  • Programs with Belgian NGO’s, universities and civil partner organisations
  • Local Palestinian civil society organisations
  • Conflict prevention and security (mainly EUPOL COPPS)
  • Aid from Belgian regions, communities and decentralized entities.

With a yearly global aid disbursement of about 30 million EUR, Palestine ranks fourth on the list of Belgian partner countries (after DR Congo, Rwanda and Burundi).

More detailed information can be found on the ODA-tracker of the Belgian development cooperation.