Kuwait pledges further funds to support decent work in Occupied Palestinian Territories

During a signing ceremony at ILO headquarters in Geneva, the Government of Kuwait pledged a voluntary contribution of US$ 500,000 to support the ILO in promoting decent work and social justice for Palestinian women and men.

These new funds bring the total contributions from Kuwait to address decent work deficits in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) to US$ 6.5 million since 2009.

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva Jamal Al-Ghunaim made over the contribution to ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

During the pledging ceremony, Director-General Ryder renewed the ILO’s appreciation to Kuwait for its continuous support, stressing the important role the Government of Kuwait has played in supporting the efforts of the ILO in promoting the Decent Work Agenda in the OPT.

Ambassador Ghunaim noted that Kuwait has been committed to promoting decent work and social justice in the Arab States in general and in the OPT in particular over the past years, especially in light of circumstances that continue to strain the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, limiting their access to economic opportunities and decent work.

This new funding will feed into the Second Decent Work Programme (DWP) in the OPT (2018 – 2022) that prioritizes enhancing employment and livelihood opportunities for Palestinian women and men as well as strengthening labour governance and realizing fundamental principles and rights at work through freedom of association, strengthened collective bargaining and improved social dialogue. It also prioritizes implementing and developing the Palestinian social security system with the aim of extending social protection to all.

Recent key achievements of the Second DWP include:

With ILO’s technical support, the tripartite and inter-ministerial committee has developed the National Employment Strategy (NES) for the years 2021 – 2025 to address labour market challenges and promote policy coherence.

As parts of its COVID-19 response, the ILO launched a study on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the Palestinian labour market using a forecasting model, aimed at providing policy recommendations for a sustainable and equitable recovery.

The ILO assisted the Cooperative Work Agency (CWA) in the revision of the “Decree Law No. (20) of 2017 on Cooperative Associations,” a prerequisite for enabling the CWA governing body to take up its administrative role in the sector.

ILO study on the minimum wage in the OPT conducted in 2019 has supported the National Wages Committee deliberations for adjustments to the minimum wage. After extensive deliberations by the social partners and the Palestinian Authority, a revised national minimum wage for OPT of ILS 1,880 was formally announced by the Minister of Labour and social partners.

The ILO supported the Ministry of Labour and social partners to hold their first ever tripartite Social Dialogue Conference, a critical step in addressing implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Labour market and reinforcing social dialogue mechanisms as an effective tool for achieving a unified vision for improved labour market governance and an effective response to challenges.

The ILO supported the establishment of new General Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and the adoption of a national OSH profile.

With the suspension of the Social Security Law (Decree-Law No. 19 of 2016), the ILO continued its support to the Palestine Social Security Cooperation to preserve the accumulated knowledge capital.

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