European Union provides €10 million to support Palestinian families living in extreme poverty
The European Union, the Swiss Confederation and the Government of Austria have joined forces to contribute to this year's first payment of social allowances to poor and vulnerable Palestinian families across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
Identified in cooperation with the PA Ministry of Finance, eligible beneficiaries are households living in extreme poverty that are registered under the cash transfer programme run by the PA Ministry of Social Affairs. The programme is designed to provide basic safety net to the poorest and most vulnerable Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, through cash and in kind assistance.
“This is our first contribution for 2012 to the social allowance scheme of the Ministry of Social Affairs which the EU has been supporting not only through direct financial support but also in its efforts to materialize a comprehensive social protection scheme to effectively support all Palestinians in need”, said the EU Representative Mr. John Gatt-Rutter. “I would also like to thank Switzerland and Austria for making this contribution to the Palestinian Authority possible and for entrusting their funds to the PEGASE mechanism”.
The €10 million contribution, channelled through the PEGASE mechanism, is funded by the European Union (€7 million), the Swiss Confederation (€2 million) and Austria (€1 million) and will directly benefit 64,743 eligible Palestinian families – out of which around 60% live in Gaza.
Payments to beneficiaries living in the West Bank took place on Sunday 22nd April and were postponed in Gaza until Sunday 29th April due to cash unavailability in local banks.
Background: 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 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 in line with the plan put forward by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in August 2009. Since February 2008, €1.3 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.
For further information in Arabic and English on the EU's assistance to the occupied Palestinian territory and the PEGASE mechanism, please visit: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/westbank/