Development aid, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation
France resumed direct budgetary aid to the Palestinian Authority in July 2007 through a donation of €15M. Annual French aid amounts to €68M, €25M is budgetary aid, €32M is project assistance and €11M is humanitarian assistance.
In the context of its project assistance, and to meet the needs expressed in the priority development sectors, France, through its operator, the French Development Agency (AFD), concentrates its interventions in four main sectors: water and sanitation, urban infrastructures and municipal development, support for the private sector, and health. Since 1998, when it was set up in the Palestinian Territories, the AFD has given €125M in donations. On the occasion of the donors’ conference organized in Paris on 17 December 2007, the decision was made to double the AFD’s activity level in terms of contribution to the implementation of the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan. In addition, the AFD signed an agreement alongside the Donors’ Conference on support for the export of olive oil. In 2009, France also agreed to provide up to €2M to work for the renovation of Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza, an operation managed by the AFD.
Our cooperation aims first and foremost to support the development of the future institutions of a Palestinian State and forces favourable to democracy and peace. With the worsening of the situation in the territories, the aspect of budgetary support for the Palestinian Authority and humanitarian assistance, particularly in Gaza, has been reinforced, without neglecting the long-term objective, which is the creation of a State. The Partnership Framework Document (PFD), covering the period 2008-2010 and developed by the two parties to go along with the Palestinian Authority’s three-year plan, was signed in December 2009.
Social and humanitarian sector
France aims to maintain increased assistance for the Palestinian population, which must be able to continue to access basic services in terms of food and in the social sectors. Since the start of the second Intifada, French humanitarian actions attempt to respond to the ongoing deterioration of the socio-economic situation of the Palestinian Territories. Taking the form of bilateral or multilateral aid, they are manifest in a contribution to the general budget of the UNRWA, through financial support for humanitarian operations conducted by multilateral organizations (ICRC) and United Nations agencies(UNRWA and WFP) in the area of food aid. France also provides emergency assistance for major crises in the field through strong support to international organizations, NGOs (especially French ones) and through direct logistical support. This humanitarian aid makes it possible to fund operations in the areas of food security and access to care.
The network of French cultural centres (Jerusalem, Gaza, Ramallah and Naplouse, as well as the Alliance Française of Bethlehem, and the Association d’ Echanges Culturels Hebron-France) drives cultural life, offering events (visual arts, performing arts, plastic arts, music, and exhibitions) featuring the participation of internationally renowned French artists, while promoting Palestinian artists, who find a space and an audience in our centres to promote their work.
Our actions also focus on the aid given to many artistic associations, which are striving to protect Palestinian cultural identity, by organizing festivals (the International Contemporary Dance Festival in Ramallah, the Jerusalem Music Festival - Yabous, concerts of the music association Al Kamandjati, circuses and street shows, film festivals).
Development aid for Palestinian cinematography is also an important part of our cooperation. Young Palestinian filmmakers receive support from the post to make films and documentaries, which are then screened at international competitions. In order to keep a connection with the outside, we are endeavouring to participate in international events, such as “la Fête de la musique”, which takes place in the entire network of French cultural centres, and “la Nuit blanche”, which, through the support of Paris City Hall, meets with a response in Gaza.
University cooperation / Training of the elite
Boasting the highest literacy rate in the Arab world, the Palestinian Territories have 11 universities and approximately 185,000 students, more than 50% of whom are women. Aid for building the Palestinian State is based in particular on the training of its elite. With this in mind, France earmarks a portion of its aid to university cooperation.
Updated on 11.02.11