Support to Village Councils – Area C Infrastructure

Switzerland fosters the resilience of marginalised communities in Area C of the West Bank by enhancing planning capacities of local authorities and improving the access to basic infrastructure in partnership with UNHABITAT and the Municipal Development and Lending Fund MDLF. SDC’s contribution is part of a wider donor engagement in Area C to Leave No One Behind. A stronger accent is put in this third and final phase on active participation of women and youth in the selection and social auditing of infrastructure projects.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Occupied Palestinian Territory
Employment & economic development
Public sector policy
Urban development
Sector not specified
Democratic participation and civil society
01.02.2022 - 31.12.2024
CHF  4’110’000
Background Area C comprises 62% of the West Bank and is under the full control of the Israeli army. Area C is key to future Palestinian economic development in terms of agriculture lands and water. Palestinian citizens of the area suffer from long-term neglect and coercive environment with no development plans to expand their villages, build new schools, or to develop their water and electricity networks. Hence, they remain under acute threat of demolition and displacement. The overall Israeli pressure is leading more Palestinians to migrate towards other Palestinian cities or abroad, seeking safety and employment. Many Palestinians living in the area suffer from very bad economic conditions and end up working in Israeli settlements.
Objectives Enhanced living conditions and resilience of marginalized Palestinian communities in Area C of the West Bank through delivery of essential infrastructure projects, improved planning capacities and strengthened dialogue between citizens and local authorities.
Target groups

·      Ministry of Local Governance and Village Councils in Area C

·      10’000 Citizens of 15 communities in Area C of the West Bank, including women, youth and persons with disabilities benefit from improved social infrastructure.

-    25 Local Government Units representing 120’000 citizens in the Qalqiliya Governorate will benefit from an approved masterplan and a Joint Planning Committee.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1
·  Improved access to public services for vulnerable communities in rural areas of the West Bank with a focus on Area C.

Outcome 2
·  Strengthened planning and management capacities of targeted LGUs and enhanced social accountability towards citizens and civic groups (youth, women).


Expected results:  

·      Improved social infrastructure in 15 communities in Area C: schools, water, electricity, roads.

·      Capacity building and social accountability workshops for 15 VCs

·      Strengthened relationship between citizens and their village councils.

Results from previous phases:  

·      Supported 16 infrastructure projects in Area C of the West Bank including building of a school for 220 children, a community park, delivering emergency medical equipment and solar powered street lights

·      Supported village councils planning structure

·      Established a Joint Planning Committee (JPC) for a group of communities in the Barta’a cluster (north of the West Bank) to safeguard their planning rights within Area C

·      Tens of training sessions on place-making and joint community planning

·      Supported village councils (VCs) in Social Accountability toolkits and producing readable budgets for citizens

        Supported 439 VCs sterilisation and cleaning efforts during COVID19 pandemic.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Foreign state institution
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Central State of South East
  • Foreign private sector South/East
  • UN-Habitat - United Nations Human Settlements Program

Coordination with other projects and actors

§  Culture, Arts, and Social Engagement Programme funded by SDC

§  Local Government Service Improvement Programme (LGSIP) funded by the World Bank

§  Local Governance Reform Programme (LGRP) funded by BMZ and implemented by GIZ

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’110’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’130’142
Project phases Phase 3 01.02.2022 - 31.12.2024   (Current phase) Phase 2 01.07.2019 - 31.03.2023   (Completed) Phase 1 01.11.2016 - 31.12.2021   (Completed)