Monday 22 July 2024 
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World Bank pledges $20m to improve access to high-speed internet in Palestine

The World Bank approved a grant of $20 million to increase access to high-speed broadband services in selected Palestinian areas and enable the development of various e-government services in an effort to help the economy recover from the pandemic-induced shocks.

The World Bank approved a grant of $20 million to increase access to high-speed broadband services in selected Palestinian areas and enable the development of various e-government services in an effort to help the economy recover from the pandemic-induced shocks.

 

The Digital West Bank and Gaza Project will contribute to socio-economic recovery by allowing people to connect to the internet, access e-services and conduct business online, the Washington-based lender said.

 

“In a context of restrictions on movement and access of goods and people exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis, the potential of the digital economy to thrive despite these constraints makes it a promising area for economic development and high-end jobs,” Kanthan Shankar, World Bank country director for West Bank and Gaza, said.

 

“While the potential is huge for the tech-savvy young population, it will also help bridge the digital gender divide in times of movement restrictions and social distancing.”

 

Due to restrictions on frequencies, the Palestinian territories were among the last places in the Middle East and North Africa to launch 3G in 2018 (Gaza still has 2G) and the population coverage is the lowest in the region, according to the World Bank.

 

The new project aims to expand access to digital connectivity by supporting the development of fiber optic infrastructure. It will also help create an enabling policy environment for the telecommunications sector, the lender said.




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