EU announces €52 million aid package for Palestine

BRUSSELS, September 9, 2013 (WAFA) – The European Union announced Monday a €52 million assistance package to support economic and social development and institution-building measures foreseen by the Palestinian National Development Plan for 2011-2013, an EU press release said.

This funding, which was announced on the day that Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah is visiting Brussels for talks with the High Representative, will support private sector in creating new jobs, support the construction of the new Nablus East Water Treatment Plant, finance small capital investment projects in different municipalities and continue to help deliver community services in East Jerusalem.

This is the final part of EU assistance to the Palestinian people in 2013 from the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), bringing the total amount contributed from this instrument this year to €300 million.

Announcing the assistance package, the High Representative Catherine Ashton said she was pleased to announce this assistance package on the day that Hamdallah is in Brussels.

“The ultimate objective of the EU’s financial assistance remains the establishment of a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security,” she said.

Ashton said he discussed with Hamdallah “the difficult financial situation” of the Palestinian Authority and the expectations for the meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) due to take place at the margins of UN General Assembly in New York.

Ashton and Hamdallah also followed up on their discussions held in June during the High Representative’s visit to the Middle East, said the statement.

She confirmed the EU’s support for the Palestinian state-building process and stressed the need for a strong and stable Palestinian government committed to reform and the rule of law.

Ashton also expressed full support of the European Union for the ongoing Middle East peace talks.

EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, Štefan Füle, said Europe has to look beyond immediate financial help to the Palestinian Authority to provide longer-term sustainable support.

“We will also continue to support the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem to help ensure their access to services in East Jerusalem,” he said.

source:WAFA NEWS