Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (third from left) and his guests at the launch of the National Policy Agenda in Ramallah. WAFA photo by Maan Khalifa.
RAMALLAH, February 22, 2017 (WAFA) – The Palestinian government launched Wednesday the Palestine National Policy Agenda (NPA) for 2017 – 2022, which Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said puts the Palestinian citizen first.
Speaking at the launch event held in Ramallah in the presence of Palestinian and international guests, including United Nations Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov and European Union representative in Jerusalem Ralph Tarraf, Hamdallah said the NPA’s “Putting Citizens First,” is a program to develop the people and achieve freedom and progress.
The purpose of the NPA “is to provide basic quality services to all our people, regardless of where they live, and to strengthen their steadfastness, particularly in Area C (of the West Bank), East Jerusalem, the capital of the independent State of Palestine, and in the Gaza Strip,” he said.
The agenda is based on three tracks: “The road to independence, reforms and improving quality of services, and sustainable development,” said Hamdallah.
The prime minister said that even though international donor aid has dropped by 70 per cent, his government was nevertheless able to overcome this hurdle, as witnessed in reports by international organizations, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He said if Israel allows the Palestinian to benefit from Area C, which makes 60 per cent of the area of the West Bank and is under Israeli military control, investment in this area would bring in $3.5 billion a year to the Palestinians, as confirmed by World Bank reports.
He urged the international community to help the Palestinians get rid of Israeli control over Area C.
Speaking at the same event, UN Special Coordinator Mladenov congratulated the Palestinian government “for finalizing an ambitious policy agenda for Palestine that articulates a strong, clear vision for the Palestinian people.”
He said the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for 2018-2022, currently being developed, will be aligned with the NPA and support the strategic priorities of statehood, governance reform, as well as economic and social development.
“I applaud the Government of Palestine for aligning the NPA with global imperatives – including the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda – and for ‘putting citizens first.’ This is smart governance,” he said.
The NPA is expected to strengthen institutions, improve governance and develop a sustainable economy.
“This is a step in the right direction that tangibly demonstrates the Palestinian commitment to advancing the two-state solution,” said the UN official.