The EU and The Netherlands contribute to the Palestinian Authority's payment of January salaries and pensions
Today the European Union is providing a contribution of €20.0 million (around NIS 100 million) to help the Palestinian Authority pay the January salaries and pensions of almost 85,000 Palestinian public service providers and pensioners, both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Government of the Netherlands has also made a contribution of €5.1 million (around NIS 25 million) to cover part of the January wage bill of almost 19,000 members of the Palestinian civil police and the civil defence, which includes fire-fighters and rescue workers. Both contributions are being channelled through PEGASE, the European mechanism for support to the Palestinians.
"After three years of using this successful instrument to facilitate the reforms of the Palestinian Authority, the EU is ready to continue providing tangible support to the priorities set in the PA's Palestinian National Plan for 2011-2013. Today's contribution is part of a €100 million financial package to the Palestinian people that the EU decided to frontload for 2011. As has been done in previous years, the EU is ready to make its funds available when the PA needs it the most – in other words at the beginning of each year – showing in practice that not only is it the single largest donor for the Palestinian people but also their most reliable partner", said Mr Christian Berger, the EU Representative.
The contribution of the Netherlands complements the ongoing programme of EU assistance to the Palestinian Authority to ensure the continuous provision of essential public services across all the occupied Palestinian territory.
"This payment is a fulfilment of the Dutch obligations towards the support of the two states solution, and in particular to the Palestinian statehood plan, and an appreciation of the reform efforts of the PA especially in the fields of justice and rule of law." said Mr Jack Twiss Quarles van Ufford, the Head of the Netherlands Representative Office to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
The €5.1 million contribution of the Dutch Government to the January salaries of the Palestinian civil police and the civil defence follows similar contributions made in 2008 and 2009, which were also channelled through PEGASE. This new contribution is in line with the overall Dutch support to the justice and rule of law sector in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Most of the EU assistance to the Palestinian Authority is channelled through PEGASE, the financial mechanism launched in 2008 to support the three-year Reform and Development Plan presented in 2007. 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 in line with the plan put forward by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in August 2009. Since 2007 the EU has provided total assistance to the Palestinian people amounting to €1.45billion.
For further information in Arabic and English on the EU's assistance to the occupied Palestinian territory and the PEGASE mechanism, please visit: www.delwbg.ec.europa.eu
 Mécanisme Palestino-Européen de Gestion de l'Aide Socio-Economique (PEGASE)