Overview of Australia’s aid program to the Palestinian Territories

How we are helping

2018-19 Total Australian ODA Estimated Outcome
$38.3 million

2019-20 Bilateral Budget Estimate
$20.5 million

2019-20 Total Australian ODA Estimate
$42.6 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 practical and genuine 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.

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) 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. Australia also provides support to the UN’s Palestinian Territories Humanitarian Fund (Administered by the Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - OCHA) for Humanitarian assistance in Gaza and the West Bank in areas such as health, water sanitation and hygiene, food security and protection.

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

Our results

  • In 2018, Australian funding to UNRWA contributed to: universal primary education for more than half a million Palestinian refugee children; over 8.4 million patient visits at UNRWA health care facilities; social safety net assistance (cash and food) to over 250,000 people; and provided protection services to over 10,000 vulnerable people.
  • In 2018, humanitarian assistance was provided through UNRWA to over 1.4 million people, including in response to increased violence as a result of the ‘March of Great Return’ in Gaza
  • AMENCA 3 has to date assisted almost 23,000 farmers to increase incomes, with over 7000 women and almost 7000 youth. AMENCA 3 has to date leveraged AUD 15 million of private sector investment, close to the 2020 target of AUD 17.5 million. There is increased private sector confidence to invest with farmers and increased trust between farmers and investors, which has followed from business cases successfully presented by the project.
  • In 2018-19, Australia will provide up to 12 Australia Awards to the PTs.
  • In 2018, 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.
Last Updated: 18 April 2019