Palestine has been a partner country of Belgian cooperation since September 2000.
Ever since, Belgian cooperation, through the Representation of the Belgian Development Agency BTC, has been working on various programmes to improve the quality of life, and the global care in the Palestinian Territory through the reduction of mortality and morbidity due to cardiac and congenital ailments in children and adults. In addition Belgian cooperation has focused on Education and Local Government.
While an average classroom size of 33 students may not seem like an alarmingly high number, the high classroom size in some regions of Palestine, and the long travel distance required of students, has made the need for more schools in Palestine evident. Since 2000, BTC has supported the constructions of several schools, making it possible for Palestinian students to reach schools easily and conveniently.
For about 30 years prior to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, the tertiary healthcare sector has received little attention. Tertiary healthcare is a specialized, highly technical level of health care that includes diagnosis and treatment of disease and disability, such as, specialized intensive care units, advanced diagnostic support services, and highly specialized personnel. As a result, the local population sought tertiary medical care in neighbouring countries or in NGO- and charity-run hospitals away from their area of residence.
The difficulties in movement that Palestinians face today have made it impossible for some to reach adequate medical care. BTC has funded various projects in the West Bank to develop catheterisation labs, and purchase essential medical equipment.
Projects focusing on sustainable development and infrastructure are important for the vitality of Palestinian life. The uniqueness of BTC’s operations in Palestine is that they go beyond simply building structures; they build and train human capital, so the local population gets most from these structures.