To read this article, click here.


"Reliance on NGOs distorts the Palestinian economy and makes self-determination harder." "The growing number of NGOs has made it exceptionally difficult for Palestinian businesses to find professional human capital in the West Bank. In 2007, I moved to the West Bank to establish MENA Geothermal, a startup company dedicated to bringing sustainable urban development and renewable-energy technology to the Palestinian territories. During the last three years, we have created real-life examples of financially feasible, replicable, and energy-efficient buildings. Yet, in addition to the challenges of running a business under Israeli military occupation, Israel denied me entry into Palestinian territories three times in 2009. To complicate matters, my business has to compete with NGOs. Due to the enormous amounts of donor funds provided as “development aid,” many NGOs are able to lure educated and professional Palestinians by offering salaries that are three to four times higher than what the local private sector can afford. This causes labour costs to rise significantly, and directly undermines the local private sector’s ability to recruit educated professionals and build an autonomous Palestinian economy."