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Dr. Salam Fayyad Resurfaces

05/11/2013

In an exclusive interview with Palestine’s Al-Hadath, Dr. Salam Fayyad discussed for the first time life after his resignation from the post of Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority. Most strikingly the article provides an answer to the question on everyone’s mind: What is Dr. Fayyad up to now?

The former Prime Minister whose legacy will be associated with “Fayyadism”- a philosophy of governance built on strengthening Palestinian capacities and institutions for a more salient transition to Palestinian autonomy – has been busy establishing a non-profit organization that will assist in Palestinian development. Focusing work throughout the West Bank – especially Area C – Gaza, and Jerusalem, Fayyad sees the organization as a potential link between the Palestinian private and public sectors through a network that will provide access to funding.  Emphasis was put on investing in local initiatives, as well as providing an environment in which organizations in both Palestinian sectors can operate and implement development without outside interference.

The age old criticism of international development organizations working in Palestine has been that 1) their programs, although well-intentioned, don’t always correspond to the needs of the Palestinian people 2) their funding regulations and exclusivity have stymied  local Palestinian development organizations. It seems to be that by establishing his organization Fayyad aims to alleviate the current development environment in Palestine. Furthermore, such an organization could prove to be vital for Palestinian development by providing funding that is not contingent on the whims of foreign donors that condition their aid to the Palestinian Authority as a form of political leverage.

Nonetheless, whether Fayyad’s work is to be successful, it must overcome many of the obstacles that he faced as Prime Minister and which ultimately led to his resignation.