"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Commission Vice-President stated: "This additional package shows our determination to support the Palestinian people and the Palestinian state-building process, which is making strong progress. We are also increasing our contribution to UNRWA´s General Fund. I have visited Gaza twice during the last months and have praised the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). It is essential that we continue to help the population in Gaza providing health, education and social protection services".
In announcing the package, Commissioner Štefan Füle said: "Our commitment to support the Palestinian people remains strong. Our funds will be used to pay the salaries of more than 80,000 Palestinian Authority employees providing vital services to the population, as well as to allow UNRWA to provide basic services to the refugees. In the future, we look forward to seeing more and more resources devoted to the creation of the Palestinian State."
Some €41.4 million of the funds from yesterday's decision will go towards helping the Palestinian Authority meet its salary obligations for teachers, doctors and nurses in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The funds will be channelled through the EU's assistance mechanism for the occupied Palestinian territory, PEGASE, which was launched in February 2008.
€20 million will be provided to UNRWA's General Fund to allow it to continue to meet its obligations to provide health, education and social protection services to the Palestinian refugee population.
So far the Commission has already provided €692 million in support to the Palestinian Authority through this mechanism, with EU Member States contributing a further €255 million.
Aid to the Palestinian Authority is provided to support the implementation of the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP), presented by the Palestinian Authority at the donor conference in December 2007, held in Paris.
Further information on EU-OPT relations:
Website of the delegation: http://ec.europa.eu/delegations/westbank