Agricultural Development and Rehabilitation in West Bank/Gaza

May 22, 2013 ANERA
Agriculture, Community Development, Economic Development, Gaza, Job Creation, Microfinance, Water and Sanitation, West Bank

The Reality

The Palestinian economy was decimated by tighter closures after the 2000 Intifada, the separation wall built in the West Bank and the 2006 blockade of Gaza.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians lost their jobs in Israel. Unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza soared. The Palestinian Authority struggled to pay salaries and wages to public sector employees. Nearly half the Palestinian population was living below the poverty line.

With so many men out of work, women often had to take on the extra responsibility of providing for the family.

ANERA’s Response

In partnership with the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC), ANERA focused on projects that could immediately improve living conditions in poor rural communities and also lay the groundwork for long-term development. The six-year program (2003 – 2009) was funded by IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) and focused on urgent infrastructure needs that were identified by the community. The program had a special emphasis on social and physical infrastructure and relied on community participation.

The project benefited 60,000 women, youth and men in the West Bank and Gaza, providing infrastructure construction, renovation and expansion of community centers, meeting halls, kindergartens, water systems, wholesale markets, as well as training and financial services for women.

How it Worked

The projectrestored access to key social and physical infrastructure and services, provided immediate income and helped the target groups access resources they needed to improve job opportunities.

The program:

  • renovated 18 primary and secondary schools, six community centers, as well as water networks and connections for two communities.
  • provided 5,800 loans to 3,900 clients for housing, educational, and health purposes. The repayment rate was 82%. This program was carried out through PARC. 
  • improved 35 kms of agriculture access roads for 15 rural communities.
  • constructed two new wholesale food markets in Jericho and Tulkarem.