JERUSALEM, September 6, 2014 – (WAFA) – The European Union (EU) contributed €15.5 million to the early payment of the July salaries and pensions of Palestinian civil servants and pensioners, stated the EU Friday in a press release.
The EU’s grant contributed to the early payment of the August salaries and pensions of almost 69,000 Palestinian civil servants and pensioners of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip through the PEGASE mechanism. This contribution is part of the EU’s financial commitment in 2014 to support the Palestinian Authority in covering its running expenditures.
EU Representative John Gatt-Rutter stated: “We are aware of the enormous financial challenges facing the Palestinian Authority while trying to meet its obligations toward public servants and pensioners in the aftermath of the conflict in Gaza. This contribution is a clear message of support and commitment at this very difficult time.”
He went on stating: “We are deeply concerned about the disastrous humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip which requires immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access in accordance with international law. The latest round of violence has demonstrated once again the need for a comprehensive and sustainable solution for the Gaza Strip.”
Gatt-Rutter expressed the EU readiness to “support the Palestinian National Consensus Government in exercising its full responsibilities in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”
Most of the European Union’s assistance to the Palestinian Authority is channelled through PEGASE, the financial mechanism launched in 2008 to support the PA Reform and Development Plan (2008-2010) and the subsequent Palestinian national plans. 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 €1.6 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.