Social Protection in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: The role of Zakat
The present study looks at the importance of the zakat system for social protection in the West Bank of
the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It was undertaken in the context of the work of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on the mixed economy of welfare in Arab countries, introduced through the 2014 Integrated Social Policy Report V: Towards a New Welfare Mix? Rethinking the Role of the State, the Market and Civil Society in the Provision of Social Protection and Social Services.
Given the impact of war, conflict and occupation on several Arab countries, non-State institutions often become important front-line assistance providers in situations where statutory provision of social
protection and social services breaks down or is limited due to various reasons. ESCWA’s involvement in
the field of social protection thus specifically includes examining the efforts of non-State institutions with regard to equity and equality of access and their effects on society. Furthermore, ESCWA provides advice to Governments on ways to expand the social protection of vulnerable groups through an integrated, comprehensive approach, utilizing the relative strength and advantages of all stakeholders involved.
In 2013, the Government of Palestine expressed its interest in conducting this study, and the field work
was carried out during the same year. The overall objective of the study was to examine the strengths and limitations of zakat institutions in the West Bank in order to evaluate the possibility of better integration and harmonization of the overall social protection system.