Press Release – European Union
European Union provides nearly €13 million to support families
living in extreme poverty in the West Bank and Gaza
30 Oct 2015
The European Union is making its third contribution this year to the Palestinian Authority's quarterly payment of social allowances to poor Palestinian families living in the West Bank and Gaza. This contribution, channelled through PEGASE, amounts to €12.6 million and is funded by the European Union.
Eligible beneficiaries are households living in extreme poverty that are registered in the cash transfer programme of the Ministry of Social Affairs. The programme is designed to provide a basic safety net to the poorest and most vulnerable Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, through cash and in-kind assistance.
The contribution covers nearly 40% of the total cost of providing cash assistance to over 122,000 Palestinian households living in poverty. Almost two-thirds of beneficiaries are in Gaza, including over 8,100 families who have been added to the programme one year after the escalation of hostilities and its disastrous consequences.
"Thanks to today's payment, the EU is once more providing essential support to the poorest and most vulnerable in Gaza and in the West Bank. This contribution reflects the EU's commitment to support the Palestinian people and reaffirms European values of solidarity and social cohesion," said Ralph Tarraf, the EU Representative. "We work closely with the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs in delivering social support", he added.
Payments are made through a network of local banks in Gaza and the West Bank.
This contribution represents the third tranche of the EU's financial commitment in 2015 of €50 million to contribute to the payment of social allowances to households living in extreme poverty in the West Bank and in Gaza. In response to the needs identified during the Cairo Gaza Reconstruction Conference in October 2014, this amount includes €10 million to provide immediate relief and build the resilience of households that have been pulled into further poverty as a result of the 2014 hostilities in Gaza. With this amount, an estimated 10,000 households in Gaza who fulfil the criteria of the cash transfer programme will benefit from a limited number of quarterly payments in 2015, until a more sustainable solution is found to ensure their livelihood in safety and dignity.
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 the PA's running costs, European Union funds are supporting major reform and development programmes in key ministries, to help prepare the PA for statehood. Since February 2008, over €1.9 billion have been disbursed through the PEGASE direct financial support programmes. In addition, the EU has provided assistance to the Palestinian people through UNRWA as well as a wide range of other cooperation projects.
The Office of the European Union Representative Shadi Othman, Tel: +972 (0) 2 541 5888 ext 867, Mobile: +972 (0) 599 673 958 / http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/westbank/