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The European Union and the Palestinian Authority launched today a €10 million implementation agreement to build 30 social and public infrastructure projects in Gaza. The agreement targets 7 municipalities in Gaza and will be implemented by the Municipal Development and Lending Fund.
This package is the third of its kind to enhance the institutional capacity of municipalities in the West Bank and Gaza for more effective, accountable and sustainable service delivery. It will benefit around 500,000 people and fund the completion of 30 social and public infrastructure projects in Jabalia, Beit Lahia, Deir Al Balah, Gaza, Khan Younis, Rafah, and Nusairat municipalities. This includes the construction and rehabilitation of 26 roads, sewerage networks and a public building, in addition to solid waste vehicles.
The Minister of Local Government Majdi al-Saleh and the European Union Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff signed the implementation agreement in the presence of the Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.
“A few days ago, I visited Gaza together with many EU Heads of Mission. It was truly distressing to see with our own eyes the rapidly deteriorating situation. While the prolonged closure of the Strip is at the very heart of the problem, Gaza’s population is particularly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. And there is no doubt that internal divisions between Palestinians exacerbate the crisis. There is no time to waste to act on all fronts with resolve and determination. As to humanitarian aid and development cooperation, the EU and its Member States will continue to remain fully engaged, as confirmed today by our support for local infrastructure and equipment. At the political level, we will make every effort to step up our engagement with all stakeholders to address the complex challenges in Gaza. All duty bearers must do their outmost to respect their obligations towards the population of Gaza. The EU position remains solid and clear: Gaza is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory, and the contiguity and viability of an independent Palestinian state is not conceivable without Gaza. Not only Gaza’s closure must come to an end, also Palestinian unity is more urgent than ever. Mindful of the need to ensure national cohesion and democratic legitimacy, Palestinian political actors must overcome their differences and redouble efforts towards free, fair and transparent elections,” said the EU Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff at the launching ceremony.
The European Union and its Member States continue to provide humanitarian and development support to Palestinians in Gaza. This support is channelled through a solid partnership with the Palestinian Authority, international organizations (notably UNRWA) and civil society.
The EU calls for a fundamental change of the political, security and economic situation in the Gaza Strip, including the end of the closure and a full opening of the crossing points, while effectively addressing Israel’s legitimate security concerns. The EU also urges all Palestinian factions to find common ground and end the internal split as intra-Palestinian reconciliation represents an important factor in the context of reaching the two state solution and fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.