This is because present political conditions, mostly beyond donors’ control, severely hurt the Palestinian economy and people and make development impossible. But donors and their political masters have also made mistakes and have been slow or afraid to recognise that the aid process is failing.
international aid has failed to change facts on the ground in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Annual donor assistance there has doubled to $1 billion since the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000 – equivalent to over $300 for each Palestinian, a ﬁgure unparalleled in aid since the Second World War.
In the same period, the Palestinian economy has suffered one of the worst declines in modern history. Personal incomes have fallen by nearly forty percent and almost half the population now lives below the poverty line. Real Gross Domestic Product per head has decreased by 38 percent since 1999 and last year over half of working age men were unemployed.