The World Bank’s Board of Directors has endorsed a new four-year assistance strategy for the Palestinian territories’ economy, the Bank said in a statement.
In February, the World Bank said the Palestinian economy contracted by 11.5% in 2020. The bank said the contraction is “is one of the sharpest on record”.
The Bank said the potential recovery depends on the widespread distribution of Corona virus vaccines.
As of Thursday, the total number of people who received coronavirus vaccines in the West Bank and Gaza Strip reached 255,662. Those include 179,673 who received the two doses of the vaccine, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
“The new World Bank Group’s strategy is focused on the wellbeing of the Palestinian people, particularly the poor and vulnerable, women and youth,” the bank said.
The World Bank did not mention in its statement numbers for the cost of its new strategy in the Palestinian territories over the next four years.
The program will continue to strengthen the Palestinian resilience in times of crisis and provide relief and recovery, including through the emergency social protection and cash-for-work programs, the bank said
The also noted that the strategy will help champion a “well-connected Palestine” to become more integrated into the regional and global markets and develop regional trade, especially energy trade.
The statement quoted Kanthan Shankar, World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza, as saying that “Due to the persisting fragile context, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, resilience strengthening is needed immediately. The new World Bank strategy will act to protect lives and livelihoods and put the jobs agenda at the forefront of its strategy.”
“The Palestinian economy will not reach its full potential without a final status agreement,” Shankar added.
The World Bank is one of the United Nations specialized agencies dealing with development. The bank’s activity began with helping in the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. The idea was crystallized during World War II in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA.
Post-conflict reconstruction is a general focus of the World Bank’s activity due to the fact that the needs of natural disasters, humanitarian emergencies, and post-conflict rehabilitation affect developing and transitional economies.