West Bank

 

The cash transfer programme

The Palestinian National Cash Transfer Programme (PNCTP) was launched in 2010 and is managed by the Ministry of Social Affairs. Its aim is to reduce poverty in the West Bank and Gaza, focusing on extremely poor households including multiple vulnerable groups.

Key findings

  • For some of the most vulnerable, particularly female-headed households, cash transfers represent a critical safety net with many using them to pay, or part-pay, debts.
  • Beneficiaries also valued other sources of government support linked to programme membership, e.g health insurance. 
  • The CT allows women to meet their family’s basic needs, giving them greater economic independence, and restoring a sense of personal dignity.
  • Some feel that the cash transfer is in danger of creating government dependency.
  • It has introduced new tensions within extended families, leading to loss of informal sources of support and occasionally stigmatisation.

Top recommendations

  • Increase frequency of cash transfers from quarterly to every two months to help beneficiaries smooth expenditure and consumption patterns.
  • Invest in capacity-building for social workers involved in the cash transfer programme
  • Invest in awareness-raising efforts with programme beneficiaries and wider communities so as to strengthen programme information flows and accountability, as well as state-citizen relations.
  • Strengthen grievance procedures and feedback channels.
  • Ensure that the future roll-out of the cash transfer programme is embedded within a broader social protection strategy.
  • Undertake district-specific mappings of available public, private and NGO services to identify potential synergies as well as critical gaps.

Key facts

  • Despite high levels of education and participation in civil society, women remain underrepresented in public life in the oPt due to traditional societal norms and as a result of Israeli occupation.
  • The 1997 1.8% of the population had a disability, slightly lower than the previous year (2.1%). These figures rose significantly after the Intifada in 2000.
  • Displacement affects much of the population in the oPt. In Gaza, just under 50% (526,891) of registered refugees lived in one of eight UNRWA refugee camps, with 211,665 registered refugees in West Bank living in 19 camps.
  • Recent events have shown increased child-specific vulnerabilities; infant mortality rates have increased to 27 per 1000 by 2006, there has been a slowdown in health improvements and around 8% of children engaged in unpaid work in 2002.