JERUSALEM, May 15, 2013 – The World Bank Group’s work on fragile and conflict-affected areas was the focus of a three-day visit to the Palestinian Territories by the institution’s Managing Director Caroline Anstey.
Anstey, whose mandate includes coordinating work on fragile and conflict affected areas globally, visited several World Bank supported projects, and met with civil society, the donor community and the Palestinian Authority. She also saw officials in neighboring Israel.
“This was an invaluable opportunity to learn first-hand about the development challenges Palestinians face every day,” said Anstey. “The Bank’s assistance to the Palestinians includes a variety of projects. What they have in common though is that they are all designed to reduce external dependence on aid through investment in the skills and talents of Palestinians.”
In Gaza, Anstey saw a sewage treatment plant and a neighborhood development project where around 160,000 people in the poorest communities have been helped to address the most pressing needs in their villages.
Recognizing the vital role of education for Palestinians, Anstey also met students at a technical institute in Gaza learning - and then successfully marketing - computer animation. In the West Bank, at Hebron University, she discussed the teacher skills-upgrading program designed to help the Palestinian Authority raise the quality of education.
Before she departed Ramallah, Anstey met a group of leading Palestinian women actively engaged in the development of Palestinian society. Anstey is the World Bank’s leading voice on gender and spoke recently at the launch of the institution’s latest report on gender in the Middle East and North Africa.
“Women the world over are still fighting for change but Palestinian women face economic and political challenges that make this battle even harder,” said Anstey. “Today I was inspired by the extraordinarily motivated and empowered women I met. The World Bank is determined to ensure that the work we do here advances gender development in a meaningful and measurable way.”
The Managing Director was accompanied by Mariam Sherman, Country Director for the West Bank and Gaza.
Caroline Anstey: A UK national, Caroline Anstey joined the World Bank in 1995. She was appointed Managing Director in September 2011, with special responsibility for the operational services, policy and systems, and its overall modernization drive and gender issues. She previously held the post of World Bank Vice President of External Affairs. Caroline holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship from Nuffield College, Oxford.