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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Australia
31 August 2004

Australian support to reduce poverty in the Palestinian Territories

Australia is providing $8 million over three years to implement the Middle East NGO Cooperation Agreements (AMENCA), an initiative that seeks to reduce the vulnerability of Palestinians to poverty and conflict.

The NGO Cooperation Agreements form part of Australia's three-year Middle East Development Cooperation Strategy, which commenced in July this year.

It is designed to support the Middle East peace process by decreasing the vulnerability of Palestinians to poverty and conflict, strengthen the capacity of Palestinian institutions to provide essential services for their people, and support peace-building efforts.

The aid will focus on high priority areas of development including income generation, support for vulnerable groups including women and children, and sustainable agriculture.

By supporting Australian NGOs to help develop the peace-building within Palestinian society, the Australian Government aims to maximise the impact of Australian humanitarian funding in the Palestinian Territories.

Australian NGOs will be invited to submit proposals for projects that address peace-building activities, increase self-reliance, and help in the delivery of essential services.

This initiative complements Australia's efforts to strengthen the capacity of Palestinian institutions to provide essential services, such as education, health and shelter to Palestinian refugees.

Australia contributed more than $11 million in humanitarian aid for the Palestinian Territories and refugees in 2003-04, and this contribution is part of an estimated $12 million in Australian humanitarian assistance to support Palestinian refugees over 2004/05.

Australia also increased annual funding for international humanitarian, emergency and refugee programs by $13 million to $146 million in the May budget.

Media inquiries:

Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 62 77 7500 or 0419 206 890
Jo Elsom (AusAID) 02 6206 4960 or 0412 804 48

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