The French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE), through the Delegation for the External Action of Local Authorities (DAECT) and the French Consulate General in Jerusalem, and the Palestinian Ministries of Local Government (MoLG ) and Finance, have currently launched the new three-year call for projects (2019-2021) in support of decentralized cooperation partnership projects between French and Palestinian local authorities.
This initiative essentially aims at consolidating the partnerships in progress with the aim of contributing to the reinforcement of the contracting authority capacities of the Palestinian local communities in the respect of the attributions and competences which are recognized to them by the law. It demonstrates the will of the two countries to deepen cooperation between their respective local authorities for the direct benefit of the populations.
This call for projects is part of the joint support system for Franco-Palestinian decentralized cooperation following the signing on July 11, 2013 of the Franco-Palestinian decentralized cooperation agreement by the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry Palestinian of the Plan, and the Consulate General of France in Jerusalem.
This system was renewed for the period 2019 – 2021. It is jointly piloted by the MEAE (DAECT and the Service for Cooperation and Cultural Action (SCAC) of the French Consulate General in Jerusalem) and by the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Finance.
All projects and actions located in the Palestinian Territories are eligible. However, the Palestinian and French authorities have chosen to prioritize interventions with the most vulnerable populations, in particular:
- In the Gaza Strip
- Zone C
- The landlocked and bordering areas of the separation wall
- East Jerusalem
- Refugee camps.
- This system is dedicated to strengthening the project management capacities of Palestinian local authorities or their groups while respecting the powers and responsibilities which are recognized by law.
- Priority will be given to projects which will focus on:
Reducing the socio-economic impact of covid 19 by supporting local public service
- Local and regional authorities are on the front line in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. This axis proposes to encourage exchanges between communities on their responses:
- in order to meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations, provide essential hygiene and sanitation services, coordinate the initiatives of local actors
- medium and long term, in order to formulate responses to the long-term socio-economic impact: training, vocational education, social action, etc.
Support to the local public service and to the management of the technical services of local authorities
- This priority encourages capacity building to improve the efficiency and the quality of the public services concerned, their wide accessibility by all, in particular by the populations the most vulnerable, and support for the establishment of public e-service for the population.
Rural development, agriculture and food security
- This priority aims to support projects enabling the territories to promote local agriculture, to develop and enhance production chains, particularly food production, to improve and structure the marketing circuits, processing and distribution. Particular attention will be given to discussions on public policies in support of agricultural cooperatives for women and young people and agricultural development projects for land in zone C.
Water, sanitation and waste management
- This priority is aimed at projects aimed at improving the management of water, sanitation and waste services, notably through the organization of training courses, technical assistance to operators (operation of networks), raising public awareness, financing strategic studies and infrastructure. These projects must be carried out in coherence with the orientations of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) as well as with the actions developed by the French Development Agency (AFD). Projects implementing the “Oudin-Santini Law” measures (also called “1% water”) as well as “1% waste” will be given priority.
- This priority aims to support the development of projects in the field of renewable energies (wind, solar, hydraulic) by strengthening the capacities of the municipal or inter-municipal technical services concerned.
Child protection, development of educated, civic and active youth, promotion of access to education and youth autonomy
- This priority encourages discussions on local policies aimed at protecting the rights of children, promote their well-being as well as access to education, university and professional training and socio-professional integration of young people.
- Projects aimed at the autonomy of young girls are particularly encouraged.
Culture, tourism and heritage
- This priority is aimed at projects aimed at developing and implementing strategies for the development of sustainable, responsible and united tourism and at enhancing cultural and natural heritage with a view to appropriation by them. inhabitants of their heritage and a balanced development of the territories.
Sustainable economic development of the territories
- In line with the priorities of the Palestinian Authority, this priority aims to support the local Palestinian authorities with a view to creating the conditions for sustainable local economic development in their territory. Will be favored projects within the framework of the 2030 Agenda and the strengthening of sustainable development objectives.
- Projects promoting the emergence of economic partnerships and the participation of French companies and the Palestinian private sector (co-financing, provision of expertise) in setting up and supporting projects are encouraged.
- All of these themes should promote gender equality, the place of women in municipal councils, administrations and the involvement of women in public decisions. For example, a gender balance will be requested in the context of invitations to seminars.
- Similarly, projects that demonstrate good integration of young people in their design and implementation will be more particularly supported, in particular if they relate to their social and professional integration.
- The MEAE provides this system with at least 170,000 euros per year, subject to the corresponding budgetary entries in the finance law. The participation of the Palestinian Authority will be up to 20% of the French contribution on each project jointly selected.
- The duration of the project will be 12 to 24 months. For projects with a duration of more than 12 months, payment for the second year will be conditional on the submission of an annual technical and financial implementation report.
- The call for projects is aimed at French and Palestinian local authorities and their groups in order to receive projects, which can be co-financed if they are selected, within the framework of a decentralized cooperation partnership.
- A project is only eligible if it is presented jointly by at least one French local authority and one Palestinian local authority (governorate, municipality, village council, local council, Palestinian refugee camp).
- The project must directly involve the local authorities in their skills or their capacities to mobilize the actors of their territories by ensuring the strategic and financial steering of the project. Public, private or associative organizations will not be eligible, even if their purpose is to carry out local development actions. They may however, at the request of partner local authorities and within a clearly defined framework, be operators or project managers of all or part of the project.