Overview of Australia’s aid program to the Palestinian Territories

How we are helping

2017-18 Total Australian ODA Estimated Outcome
$43.8 million

2018-19 Bilateral Budget Estimate
$20.5 million

2018-19 Total Australian ODA Estimate
$43.0 million

The Australian Government will provide an estimated $43.0 million in total ODA to the Palestinian Territories (PTs, consisting of West Bank and Gaza Strip) in 2018-19. Australian aid to the PTs is a tangible demonstration of our long-standing support for the Middle East peace process. Australia’s assistance helps strengthen the economic and social foundations of a future Palestinian state.

Almost 44 per cent of the PTs’ population of 4.5 million are refugees, and a further three million Palestinian refugees live in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Some 26 per cent of the population in the PTs are food insecure and 25 per cent live in poverty.  Palestinian refugees rely on humanitarian agencies, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), for essential services such as health and education.

Australia has a long history of supporting Palestinians. The Aid Investment Plan (AIP) 2015-19 sets out two objectives for the PTs aid program. These objectives, implemented through targeted investments, contribute to stability and inclusive economic growth in the PTs, and complement other donor priorities.

Objective 1: Improved public financial management and a more competitive agricultural economy in the PTs

Australia supports agriculture as a driver of economic growth and a tool for strengthening communities through the third phase of the Australian Middle East NGO Cooperation Agreement (AMENCA 3). Australia Award Scholarships are provided at Masters’ level in priority sectors to enable the next generation of Palestinian leaders to influence their futures and their institutions. Australia has also supported Public Financial Management through the World Bank’s Palestine Recovery and Development Multi-Donor Trust Fund.

Improved public financial management and a more competitive agricultural economy in the PTs

Objective 2: Palestinian refugees in the PTs and across the region are able to access quality basic services

Australia supports the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the UN’s Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ (OCHA) Humanitarian Fund to provide basic services (education and health), livelihood opportunities and protection for Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan and to improve living conditions in refugee camps.

Palestinian refugees in the PTs and across the region are able to access quality basic services

Our results

  • In 2017-18, Australian funding to UNRWA contributed to: universal primary education for more than half a million Palestinian refugee children (half of whom were girls); a 99 per cent vaccination rate for infants; over 8.3 million patient visits at UNRWA health care facilities; social safety net assistance (cash and food) to over 254,500 people; and micro loans to over 38,500 people.
  • In 2017-18, humanitarian assistance was provided through UNRWA to over 1.4 million Palestinian refugees, primarily in the West Bank, Gaza and Syria.
  • In 2017-18, the AMENCA 3 program supported 1,111 farmers to adopt innovative agricultural practices including through the production of chemical free vegetables and improved harvesting techniques. 1,094 women and 777 youth also reported examples of economic empowerment through increased opportunities for work, business skills, and enhanced linkages to the market.
  • In 2018-19, Australia will provide 12 Australia Awards to the PTs.
  • In 2017-18, Australian funding to the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) for the Access Coordination Unit (ACU) and the Materials Monitoring Unit (MMU) facilitated access for humanitarian agencies across the PTs, and goods and services to help the Gaza reconstruction efforts.
  • In 2016-17, Australian support to small civil society projects in the PTs under the Australia-NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) helped vulnerable women accessing business and skills training and empowered them, and mothers and children developing better preventative practices for hygiene related diseases.
Last Updated: 21 September 2018