Gaza: Economic Situation

International Development written question – answered on 15 March 2011.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps his Department has taken to promote economic development in Gaza and the West Bank.

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan The Minister of State, Department for International Development

The Department for International Development (DFID) is working closely with the Palestinian Authority (PA), other donors, and businesses to promote economic growth in the West Bank and Gaza. Through our Facility for New Market Development (FNMD) project we are providing financial support and technical advice to Palestinian businesses, helping them compete in new markets, develop new products and re-launch operations. FNMD support has helped Palestinian businesses to achieve $43.9 million in incremental export and local sales, and to create 1,131 jobs.

In addition, we are also providing funding to stimulate employment in the construction sector by increasing the availability of long-term mortgages. Through investing £14 million between 2010 and 2013, we expect to attract over $500 million of private finance for mortgage lending, leading to the creation of 7,000 construction jobs over five years. We are also supporting the work of the Office of the Quartet Representative to reduce Israeli restrictions on movement and access that increase the costs and risks of doing business and, particularly in Gaza, impede flows of imports and exports.

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