Kuwait pledges additional funds to support ILO interventions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

A new contribution from the Kuwait representation in Geneva of US$ 500,000 will help ILO promote decent work and social justice for Palestinian women and men.

News | 17 March 2020
GENEVA (ILO News) - During a signing ceremony at the ILO headquarters in Geneva, Kuwait pledged US$ 0.5 million to support the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT).

Jamal Al-Ghunaim, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, made over the contribution to ILO Partnerships and Field Support Department Director Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard, in the presence of ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

The Government of Kuwait has contributed half a million US dollars to the ILO annually since 2006 for addressing decent work deficit areas in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). This additional support in 2020 brings the total contributions received to US$ 6 million.

This new funding will feed into the Second Decent Work Programme (DWP) in the OPT (2018 – 2022) that prioritizes enhancing employment and livelihood opportunities for Palestinian women and men as well as strengthening labour governance and realizing fundamental principles and rights at work through freedom of association, strengthened collective bargaining and improved social dialogue. It also prioritizes implementing and developing the Palestinian social security system with the aim of extending social protection to all.

Key achievements of the DWP in its first two years of implementation have included:

Under the First Priority of the DWP, ILO supported a national consultative process to develop the National Employment Strategy for OPT under the leadership of the Ministry of Labour, launched a comprehensive assessment of the public employment services and completed a study on the impact of minimum wage in the OPT.

Under the Second priority of the DWP, ILO supported a comprehensive review of the labour law, including from a gender perspective and facilitated bipartite and tripartite consultative processes on proposed amendments to the labour law and the draft Trade Union legislation. It further supported a modern OSH and Labour Inspection Systems in OPT and supported the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions in launching national campaigns aiming to enable women workers, particularly in the private schools and kindergarten, to organize and engage in sectoral collective bargaining.

Finally, under the Third priority of the DWP, the ILO supported financially the Palestinian Social Security Corporation in order to ensure the preservation of its knowledge capital; prepared a technical note assessing the legal and financial implications of the amendments proposed to the social security law, and developed through tripartite consultation a road map for inclusive national dialogue on social security reforms. Additionally, the ILO completed an actuarial valuation of the public sector pension schemes, with a view to helping the board of the Palestinian Pension Agency make corrective measures to ensure the immediate and long-term financial sustainability of the scheme.