MDG Attainment in the Palestinian Context


The occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is placed in the lower middle-income group of countries in terms of the Human Development Index (ranked 110 out of 182 countries in 2009 HDR). Since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1994 as a result of Oslo Accords, PA, with an assistance of Palestinian NGOs and civil society organizations as well as donor governments and international organizations, has been making utmost effort in improving living standard of Palestinian people, and had successfully achieved considerable progress up to the year 2000.

While the political aspirations of the Palestinian people remain unfulfilled, in the interim period, both Palestinians and the international community have a vital stake in improving human development outcomes in the oPt. This commitment is reflected in the efforts since 1994 of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Palestinian NGOs and civil society institutions as well as donors and foreign governments.

While most of the focus of local and international emergency and development assistance has concentrated on basic social service delivery and supporting the PA to implement its mandate, there have been efforts to systematize the process through development strategies and development planning since 1998 – in the form of the Palestinian Development Plan, Socio-Economic Stabilization Plan, and most recently the Medium Term Reform and Development Plan (PRDP) 2008-10.

MDG Advancement in 2009

The occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is placed in the lower middle-income group of countries in terms of the Human Development Index. With the exception of Goal one, progress towards achieving the MDGs remains favorable in the context of the ongoing occupation and blockade. National support for the attainment of MDGs by 2015 remains strong.  However, nothing short of an end to the occupation and the emergence of a sovereign State of Palestine will create the necessary conditions for significant further progress.

The ongoing social-economic and political crisis in the oPt in general and the Gaza Strip in particular are expected to cause dramatic deterioration in MDG indicators, especially with respect to poverty and hunger, health, and education. In addition to the economic and social closure of the territory, the sharp increase in the prices of major production inputs and basic food supplies together with the world financial crisis has rendered the current national poverty reduction strategies insufficient and less than adequate to face the existing crisis.

The uncertainty in the political situation poses challenges in achieving progress until 2015; the cut-off date for most MDG based national strategies.

The following table summarizes the likelihood of, as well as current trends towards, attainment of MDGs under occupation or in the event a sovereign State of Palestine is established during 2011, as envisaged by the PA.


MDGs Priorities for UNDP/PAPP

1. MDGs integrated into national development planning and resource allocation process

2. Sector specific programmes and policies to advance MDGs (Goals and Targets)

3. Development and operationaliation of the MDGs and poverty monitoring frameworks

4. Effective MDGs communications and advocacy strategies developed and implemented


Scorecard: oPt MDG Attainment Status
Millenium Development Goal
Not Applicable
Highly Likely
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger        


Persisting high poverty rates and the rise in the number of ‘new poor’ negatively affects food security, as a result of occupation and closure
Achieve universal primary education    

In spite of good primary results in primary education enrollment, quality of basic education requires improvement

Promote gender equality and empower women    


Educational progress favorable, whereas women’s economic and political participation remains low
Reduce child mortality        
Progress has been slow
Improve maternal health      
Lack of data on maternal mortality ratio & family planning, but other figures are positive
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases      
Very low HIV prevalence rates in the oPt. UNDP has launched a project for HIV prevention  in 2009 with funding from GFATM.
Ensure environmental sustainability        
Lack of control over natural resources, particularly water and land, due to occupation, and early stage of environmental protection
Develop a Global Partnership for Development      
Positive figures on ICT development, but complicated Israeli procedure for trade & extreme dependency on foreign ODA


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