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Ramallah, 23 July 2020: The Director of the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Finance Minister of the Palestinian Authority signed a 1.3-million euro grant agreement today, in the presence of the Palestinian Prime Minister and the Consul General of France in Jerusalem, in order to help Palestinians fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first cases of COVID-19 appeared in early March in the West Bank and Gaza. Despite the recommendations of the Palestinian government and the WHO on health protection measures (including wearing masks and complying with social distancing and hygiene measures), a significant increase in the number of cases in the West Bank prompted the Palestinian Minister of Health to declare the arrival of a second wave of COVID-19.

“The purpose of this grant is to help preserve and improve the health of populations in Palestine in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In the short term, the goal is to strengthen the Palestinian health system’s capacity to treat patients with COVID-19; in the medium term, it aims to contribute to strengthening the resilience of this health system. The project consists of emergency support intended to finance equipment and drugs, in order to improve the targeted health establishments’ capacity for treatment,” said Catherine Bonnaud, Director of the AFD in Palestine.

The Palestinian health system is weakened by chronic difficulties: constraints on funding and the supply of equipment and drugs, especially in Gaza, due to the blockade; the unavailability of many treatments; the complex system of permits for the medical transfer of patients; pressure on the East Jerusalem hospital network, etc. “Through this project, it is the social bond, the quality of the relationship between institutions and citizens, which is strengthened. This is one of AFD’s strategic priorities in the Middle East,” concluded Catherine Bonnaud.

This project is funded by the French Development Agency (AFD) as part of the “COVID-19 – Health in Common" initiative led by France.

About the French Development Agency

The French Development Agency (AFD) funds, supports, and accelerates the transitions to a fairer and more sustainable world. Focusing on climate, biodiversity, peace, education, urban development, health, and governance, our teams carry out more than 4,000 projects in France’s overseas departments and territories and another 115 countries. In this way, we contribute to the commitment of France and French people to support the Sustainable Development Goals.


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