International support offered to skill-starved Gaza and West Bank youth

After elementary education, the Palestinian system falls woefully short for Palestinian youth

More than 1,000 young Palestinians are set to benefit from a new initiative to combat youth unemployment in the Israeli-Occupied Territories of the West Bank and Gaza.

The project will be co-sponsored by the Palestine Investment Fund, Semilla de Olivo, FMO (the Netherlands Development Finance Company) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development who together will finance the first Palestinian employment-development impact bond to address high levels of youth unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza.

An estimated 38 per cent of young people in the West Bank and Gaza are unemployed

The sponsors will provide upfront funding to the project, while the outcome funders, the World Bank and the Palestinian Authority, will repay them if and when the training and employment results are achieved. The project raised $1.8 million in investment and $ 5.0 million in outcome funds.

An estimated 38 per cent of young people in the West Bank and Gaza are unemployed, with a mismatch of skills being a key impediment to their sustained employment.

The new project, which will provide professional training for more than 1,000 young Palestinians to support their transition into sustainable employment and will be an important test case to assess how private sector investment can tackle this challenge by promoting results-oriented employment services.

Private sector organisations will begin training in 2020. They will focus initially on employment opportunities in the healthcare sector, as well as in the industrial and construction sector. Additional training will be rolled out according to market needs, with the goal of delivering sustainable employment outcomes by late 2021.

Social Finance led the design of the project as an impact bond, as part of the World Bank’s Finance for Jobs programme, implemented by DAI Global. Since the first impact bond was created in 2011, more than 140 others have been contracted globally, with an increasing percentage in low-to-middle-income countries.


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