Female head of household with her daughter, Gaza

© Bassam Hamad 2012 / ODI

"> Female head of household with her daughter, Gaza © Bassam Hamad 2012 / ODI

Female head of household with her daughter, Gaza

© Bassam Hamad 2012 / ODI

The cash transfer is like an anaesthetic. But we are not going to forget the Palestinian cause
— Female head of household, Rafah

The cash transfer programme

The Palestinian National Cash Transfer Programme (PNCTP) was launched in 2011 in Gaza and is the largest unconditional cash transfer programme in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). It is managed by the MoSA and aims to reduce poverty by focusing on extremely poor households including multiple vulnerable groups.

Key findings

  • For female-headed households cash transfers allows them to meet the basic needs of their families, giving them greater economic freedom, security and enhanced psychological well-being.
  • Some beneficiaries feel the cash transfer programme is important, but limited, in helping them cope economically.
  • Families are able to purchase essential household items and services, occasionally allowing them to save for higher education. 
  • Some felt that cash transfers created dependency, linked to the lack of a viable exit strategy for beneficiaries and created tensions between those receiving cash and those who were not.

Top recommendations

  • Introduce payments that are inflation-indexed to off-set the spikes in cost of living.
  • Invest in communication and awareness raising with programme participants and wider communities.
  • Develop a governance framework for the programme.
  • Introduce citizen programme feedback channels.
  • Promote shifts in gender norms, roles and expectations to tackle gender-specific vulnerabilities.

Key facts

  • Despite high levels of education and participation in civil society, women remain underrepresented in public life in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt) due to traditional societal norms and as a result of Israeli occupation.
  • In 1997 1.8% of the population had a disability, slightly lower than the previous year (2.1%). These figures rose significantly after the Intifada in 2000.
  • Displacement affects much of the population in the oPt. In Gaza, just under 50% (526,891) of registered refugees lived in one of eight UNRWA refugee camps, with 211,665 registered refugees in West Bank living in 19 camps.
  • Recent events have shown increased child-specific vulnerabilities; infant mortality increased to 27 per 1000 by 2006, there has been a slowdown in health improvements and around 8% of children engaged in unpaid work in 2002.