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Palestinian Territories


heading foldHow we are helping

2013/14 Estimated Outcome

$54.2 million

2014/15 Budget Estimate

$56.5 million


The Palestinian Territories experience high levels of unemployment, food insecurity and aid dependency. Around 26 per cent of Palestinians were out of work in 2013 (up from 23 per cent in 2012)1 and over a third of Palestinians, 1.57 million people, cannot meet basic food needs. Without aid, an additional 185,000 people, half of them children, would be food insecure2. Humanitarian and economic conditions are particularly dire in the Gaza strip, where unemployment has reached 40 per cent and well over half of Gaza’s youth are out of work.

Girl wearing sunglasses and with a microphone, standing near a lectern, singing Hebron, Haya, a blind girl, singing a song at the celebration of the newly built WASH facilities at her school (credit: Ahed Izhiman).

An economically viable and stable Palestinian entity is essential to any durable, two-state solution to the
Israel–Palestinian issue. Australian aid supports Palestinian economic growth and governance reform as well as helping to meet humanitarian needs. Through support in effective governance to the Palestinian Authority, Australia is leveraging funding with the World Bank and major donors to influence policy and regulatory reform—particularly in fiscal management—that helps create jobs, encourage investment and maintain basic services. Scholarships to Australian universities are helping future leaders from the Palestinian Authority and emerging legal academics acquire key skills for state-building. Our engagement with entrepreneurial small businesses and NGOs is helping to introduce more efficient practices into the much-neglected agricultural sector and link small scale farmers to domestic and international markets. Through a focus on the role of women, our civil society and education programmes are helping to raise the average income and the socio-economic status of women and girls. Our funding and policy engagement with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) helps it meet the basic health, education and social protection needs of almost five million Palestinian refugees.

Archived details of expenditure for this program for 2013–14 can be found here.

Archived details of expenditure for DFAT’s aid program, following the Government’s announcement on 18 January 2014 to revise the aid budget, can be found here.


1 Between a rock and a hard place—Recent Economic Developments in the Palestinian Economy (February 19, 2014), IMF.

2 Socio-Economic & Food Security Survey 2012, West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestine, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the World Food Programme (WFP), September 2013.


Significant results to date

  • Australia supported the World Health Organisation to establish maternity and neonatal units in seven hospitals, covering 90% of childbirths in Gaza, contributing to improvements in the quality and safety of childbirth care.
  • In partnership with UNICEF, Australia has funded the upgrading of water and sanitation facilities in 111 Palestinian schools since 2009.
  • Through the AusAID–UNRWA Partnership Framework, Australia is providing basic services and livelihood support to Palestinian refugees. Since December 2010, UNRWA’s health program has supported 137 primary health care centres, 3,654 health staff and 118 dental clinics.


Significant results to date

  • In 2011–12, the Australia Middle East NGO Cooperation Agreement (AMENCA 2) delivered 50 microfinance loans, and business support training to Palestinian women entrepreneurs with the aim of increasing livelihood, skills, and income levels for women.
  • Through our support of UNRWA, Australia assisted over 470,000 Palestinian refugee children to attend school, with girls constituting 50 per cent of enrolments.

Economic development

Significant results to date

  • AMENCA supports long-term development projects in the West Bank and Gaza which are aimed at reducing vulnerability by improving livelihoods, developing the agricultural sector and increasing the capacity of community-based organisations to deliver social services and technical assistance to beneficiaries, particularly Palestinian women and youth.


Significant results to date

  • Australia’s assistance to the Palestinian Authority is delivered under a five year 2011–16 partnership through the multi-donor World Bank PRDP-Trust Fund, supporting state-building and the peace process. The funds are provided as budget support enabling delivery of key economic reform, building effective governing institutions and the continued delivery of basic services including health, education, power and water. In 2011, 1,375 students were enrolled in Palestinian University, 129 candidates received teacher training and 3 health care centres provided basic health care services.
  • Through the PA partnership Australia is improving the public financial management allowing transparent, accountable and efficient budget processes, public sector wages reforms and strengthening private sector management of utilities.


Significant results to date

  • Through our support for UNRWA, Australia has helped provide humanitarian assistance and health care for 15,000 Palestinian refugee children, as well as health care for 35,000 mothers and 40,000 newborns in Gaza.
  • Through the PA partnership Australia is improving the public financial management allowing transparent, accountable and efficient budget processes, public sector wages reforms and strengthening private sector management of utilities.

heading foldWhy we give aid


To support the provision of humanitarian assistance to Palestine refugees, as well as assisting Palestinians to build a stable, self-sufficient and peaceful state that is well placed to negotiate a settlement with Israel.

Find out more about why we give aid to the Palestinian Territories


heading foldHow we give aid

Australia is working with the Palestinian Authority (PA), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), UNICEF and Australian NGOs through multi-year relationships to help Palestinians build a stable and self-sufficient future state. These partners have particular strengths in delivering basic services and livelihood support to vulnerable communities.

Australia’s total support to the Palestinian Territories over the period 2011–16 is expected to be over $300 million, with $120 million over that period being provided to the PA through a World Bank trust fund for improved governance, and institutional building.

Find out more about how we give aid to the Palestinian Territories


heading foldProgress Against MDGs

  • Eradicate extreme hunger & poverty
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
volunteers icon


Australia is currently considering the placement of volunteers in the Palestinian Territories.


Last reviewed: 28 October, 2014