Cooperative development

A Vehicle of Entrepreneurship for Palestinian Local Economic Development

The ILO, the Italian Agency for International Development (AICS) and the Cooperative Works Agency (CWA) launch the Cooperative Support Programme “Be the Impact” in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Press release | 29 November 2021
RAMALLAH (ILO News) – The ILO, in partnership with the Cooperative Work Agency, launched the Cooperative Support Programme in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) entitled “Be The Impact” on November 24, 2021. The three-year programme is implemented in partnership with, and funded by, the Italian Agency of Development Cooperation (AICS).

Chaired by the Minister of Labour, Dr. Nasri Abu Jaish, around 200 participants from the Palestinian ministries, UN agencies, cooperative unions, cooperative associations, civil society organizations, academia, private sector, and other development partners attended the ceremony from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Programme aims to create a conducive environment for cooperatives to emerge and to flourish while preserving their independence and autonomy. In this context, it will provide support to the CWA and its subsidiary bodies, the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) and the Cooperative Development Fund (CDF), to fulfil both regulatory and promotional functions. The CWA, established as per Article (4) in the Cooperative Law of 2017, is the new regulatory and promotional body for Palestinian cooperatives in the OPT.

The programme seeks to support cooperatives towards effective contribution to local economic development. Toward that end, it will provide technical support to the newly founded General Cooperative Union and its six sectorial unions, especially in the areas of planning, training, governance and effective leadership. It will also support the exchange of expertise and knowledge with international partners including cooperative movement.

Dr. Nasri Abu Jaish, the Minister of Labour, and Chair of the Cooperative Work Agency noted that within the framework of “Be the Impact”, “we all have a role in making an impact on cooperatives.” His Excellency also referred to the Cabinet decision regarding prioritizing agricultural cooperatives’ products in public procurement contracts, adding that the World Food Program would give priority to cooperatives in its purchasing operations, calling for national support towards the various cooperative societies, providing access to consumers at reasonable prices, which will enable our people to overcome the exorbitant price hike.

Mr. Guglielmo Giordano, Representative of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, confirmed AICS continuous support to the cooperative sector, saying that cooperatives have given marginalized groups the power to compete with large corporations through affordable access to supplies, raw material, and equipment, and support in product marketing and sales, accessing international markets, and price control.

Mr. Mounir Kleibo, Representative of the ILO in Jerusalem, underlined that “The planned activities within the framework of “Be the Impact” programme for strengthening cooperatives are fully aligned with the National Policy Agenda (NPA) and with the Cooperative Work Agency’s (CWA) Strategy for the Cooperative Sector “Reform and Development” 2018-2022.” He also added “cooperatives and other social and solidarity economy models must be an integral part of the solutions that we envision for building back better and leaving no one behind. If we want to build a human-centered future of work, one that is fairer and greener, and that serves people and planet together, if we are truly committed to realizing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, then we need to be sure that cooperatives continue to be the crucial actors that they have always been”.

Dr. Simel Esim, Manager of the Cooperatives Unit at the ILO, mentioned, “There is a renaissance of cooperatives around the world with cooperatives emerging in renewable energy, informal, care and platform economies. Through the “Be the Impact” Programme the ILO plans to bring these experiences to the attention of Palestinian constituents and cooperative movement stakeholders for their possible adoption and implementation.

For media inquiries, please contact:
  • Albert Saleh, Communication Officer, Italian Agency for Development Cooperation – AICS, Jerusalem via or +972 25327447
  • Salwa Kanaana, Regional Communication & Public Info Officer at the International Labour Organization Regional Office of Arab States, via or +961 1752400