|As the Prime Minister told his Palestinian counterpart, Mr. Salam Fayyad, yesterday during their meeting on the sidelines of the World Water Forum in Marseille, France has decided to transfer €10 million in budgetary aid to the Palestinian Authority. This aid comes on top of the €9 million in budgetary aid recently disbursed to the Palestinian treasury through the World Bank in respect of 2011.
This aid is a sign of the trust we have in the Palestinian Authority with respect to its remarkable work to promote reform and transparency, which we welcome. The results of this undertaking mean that it is now clear that the Palestinian Authority is ready to become a functional and viable State. France, which will have disbursed €105 million to the Palestinian Authority in budgetary aid alone since the International Donors’ Conference for the Palestinian State held in Paris in December 2007, is proud to support these efforts.
France takes this opportunity to urge all donors to the Palestinian Authority, notably the United States and the Gulf countries, to refocus their efforts and to lend further support to the Palestinian Authority, at a time when it finds itself in a difficult financial situation.
Israel must also help the Palestinian Authority to increase its own revenue and reduce its dependence on external aid, notably by immediately implementing the agreement concluded last summer aimed at improving the collection of duties and taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, but also by resolutely facilitating economic development, both in the West Bank as well as in Gaza.
The Prime Minister also told Mr. Salam Fayyad that France would contribute funding of €10 million to the desalination plant project in Gaza. This project is especially important both because it will allow us to significantly improve the situation of the inhabitants of Gaza, where water is a critical issue, and also because this is the first project to be approved by the Union for the Mediterranean.