Australia recently launched its third phase of the Australian Middle East NGO Cooperation Agreement (AMENCA 3).
Following two successful phases of the AMENCA program for delivering aid and supporting development in Palestine, AMENCA 3 will focus on ‘Palestinian farmers connecting to markets.’
The agreement was signed by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture (MoA).
The current goals and objectives of the AMENCA 3 agreement mirror the goals of the National Development Plan as put forward by the Government of Palestine.
AMENCA 3 aims to make agriculture a driver of economic growth, by increasing the productivity and competitiveness, and thus the income, of Palestinian farmers.
The agreement will aim to achieve this objective through engagement with the private sector. Accordingly, the program will focus on achieving an increase in the market readiness of women and men, as well as the development of a more sustainable and profitable value chain by farmers.
AMENCA 3 will also focus on developing a more viable business model to ensure supply is able to effectively reach the market. The program will seek to utilise agriculture as a tool to strengthen the community fabric, by adopting a community-based approach.
AMENCA 3 has a specific desired outcome that will see women and youth being economically empowered. The emphasis on gender equality and equity is a feature of Australian aid strategies for the region.
The AMENCA 3 agreement is set to run for five years, and includes a budget of AU$40 million until its conclusion in 2020.
Australian NGO’s will implement the program in partnership with Palestinian NGO’s and other civil society organisations.