JERUSALEM, May 6, 2014 (WAFA) – Today the European Union has contributed approximately €16.4 million to the payment of the April salaries and pensions of approximately 70,000 Palestinian civil servants and pensioners of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The contribution, made through the PEGASE mechanism, is funded by the European Union (€7.05 million) and the governments of Denmark (DKK 40 million or c.€5.36 million), Ireland(€1.0 million), Italy (€1.0 million), Luxembourg (€1.0 million) and The Netherlands (c.€0.98 million earmarked specifically for salaries in the Justice sector).
“The EU has consistently sought both to help ensure the well-being of the Palestinian population and – in the context of a commitment to a two-state solution – engage in Palestinian institution-building,” said the EU Representative in Palestine John Gatt-Rutter.
“Over many years the EU has proven to be Palestinian people’s most reliable partner. The predictability of our financial support has always been guaranteed despite the very unpredictable political climate’, he added.
“Following the recent political developments in the peace process, I want to reiterate the EU’s support for intra-Palestinian reconciliation behind President Abbas on clear and certain terms but also our call to remain focused on negotiations and on the unprecedented benefits which peace can bring,” the EU Representative.
“Negotiations are the best way forward. The extensive efforts deployed in recent months must not go to waste.”
Most of the European Union’s assistance to the Palestinian Authority is channeled through PEGASE, the financial mechanism launched in 2008 to support the PA Reform and Development Plan (2008-2010) and the subsequent PA Palestinian National Plan (2011-2013). As well as helping to meet a substantial proportion of its running costs, European funds support major reform and development programmes in key ministries, to help prepare the PA for statehood.
Since February 2008, around €1.59 billion have been disbursed through the PEGASE Direct Financial Support programmes. In addition, the EU has provided assistance to the Palestinian people through UNRWA and a wide range of cooperation projects.