Boost for poverty safety net empowering families in occupied Palestinian territoryListen /
The second phase of a highly successful jobs and small business programme in the occupied Palestinian territory was launched Monday by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). It will be implemented in partnership with the Palestinian Authority and funded through the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
The US$50 million will go towards the ongoing work of the Deprived Families Economic Empowerment Programme (DEEP), an initiative that has changed the lives of thousands of poor Palestinian households, by helping family members become self-reliant. The Programme provides seed capital, technical assistance and small loans.
Since the first phase of the programme began five years ago, it has assisted almost 10,000 Palestinian families – 47 percent of them women-headed households – and contributed over $20 million per year to the Palestinian gross domestic product (GDP).
Overall, it has created sustainable employment opportunities to over 12,000 families. In this second phase, DEEP aims to reach approximately an additional 8,000 poor families.
During the second phase, UNDP and the Ministry of Social Affairs will work together to scale the programme up from its initial pilot phase. In addition, it will build and develop public social services at the district level to enable a stronger social protection network for vulnerable yet productive households.
UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator in the occupied Palestinian territory, Frode Mauring said that "From now on, these families will not be left alone to sink back into hardship", adding that "They will be supported by governmental and non-governmental protective social safety nets".
The Programme is also financed by the Governments of Japan, Sweden and New Zealand. These additional contributions have increased the DEEP's budget to around $121 million.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.