Palestinians and Europeans discuss the progress of development cooperation in COVID-19 times

On 14 and 15 October, line ministries and institutions of the Palestinian Authority met representatives of the European Development Partners to discuss progress towards state-building objectives and development goals.

The meeting was chaired by the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, Amjed Ghanem, and the European Union Head of Cooperation Gerhard Krause. Officials from 17 Palestinian ministries and institutions, including the Office of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Secretariat, together with 9 European countries and the Office of the EU Representative, discussed progress and challenges relating to programs implemented in Palestine to build the State and improve the well-being of Palestinians.

At the meeting, the Palestinian ministries and institutions reviewed the progress towards reforms to achieve development goals in the framework of the 2030 transformative agenda. The impact of COVID-19 pandemic obliges to recalibrate programs and re-define targets as COVID-19 threatens to reverse the progress towards all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular SDG 3, which aims to ensure healthy lives and wellbeing for all and puts Palestine off track to end poverty by 2030 under SDG 1.

The discussion focused on how to realign national priorities toward long-term, cooperative, and drastically accelerated action to ensure to leave no citizen behind. International partnership promoted by the European Joint Strategy is instrumental to overcome these new challenges. The discussions confirmed that the Result Oriented Framework is a necessary step to make development cooperation more transparent and to provide a mutual accountability mechanism at the country level.

“This meeting represents a great step forward in the Palestinian-European partnership, which we hope will lead to the Palestinian Authority delivering better results for the Palestinian people. The united efforts of our European partners will enable us to better serve citizens across the whole of Palestine,” said Amjed Ghanem, Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers.

Gerhard Krause, EU Head of Cooperation, quoted António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, who said “Everything we do during and after this crisis must be with a strong focus on building more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change, and the many other global challenges we face.” He continued by saying that “the European Joint Strategy in support to Palestine provides the proper umbrella to face these difficulties”.

European Development Partners work together in Palestine under the umbrella of the European Joint Strategy in support of Palestine 2017-2020 – Towards a democratic and accountable Palestinian state. It will be revised and extended to 2024.

The European Joint Strategy is aligned to the National Policy Agenda and to the various sectoral strategies and policies and focus on state-building and maintaining the viability of the two-state solution as well as protection of basic rights of the most vulnerable population.