The Impact of Refugees on Urban Planning in Local Palestinian Communities

7 May 2020. From 18:30 | Webinar | English | Online
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Over the past two centuries, urban planning in Palestinian cities has been shaped by different governments: Ottoman Turkey, Britain, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian National Authority. In this context, the coronavirus crisis highlights the challenges facing densely populated areas and Palestinian refugee camps.

According to Abdelrahman Alamarah Tamimi, director general of the Palestinian Hydrology Group for the Development of Water and Environmental Resources (PHG), geographical fragmentation, lack of infrastructure, Israel’s restrictions on transferring the money raised to the Palestinian Authority or the high immigration rate are the main challenges facing Palestine in the midst of the pandemic. 

In this sense, the post-Covid-19 impact will be multidimensional: it will increase poverty by 60%, unemployment by 32% and the number of families in need of financial aid by up to 25%. However, the Palestinian Authority’s capacity is limited to cope with the drastic reduction in international funding.

Added to these challenges are numerous specific problems such as forced migration to Syria and Lebanon, the disproportionate growth of refugee camps, especially in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon; or the insufficient services offered by UNRWA in this territory.

Tamimi has worked with NGOs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For the past 25 years, he focused on the conflict over water resources and the integrated development of rural communities. Prior to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, he had been a member of the Palestinian counterpart group before the European Community and the World Bank. He was also a consultant for institutions working on the development of environmental and water projects in the Occupied Territories (UNDP, GTZ, EU, AFD, World Bank) and a member of the board of directors of the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO). Tamimi is Professor of Sustainable Development at Al Quds University and Strategic Planning and Fundraising at American Arab University. He is the co-author of the report prepared for the EU Mediterranean challenges 2030 and numerous publications on institution building, empowerment, cross-border conflicts over water resources and dialogues between all actors involved.



Ricard Zapata


Abdelrahman Alamarah Tamimi

General Director of the PHG Palestinian Authority