|Brussels, 17 July 2006
Water for Gaza: European Commission brings further relief under the Temporary International Mechanism
The European Commission is taking further action under the Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) to alleviate the conditions in Gaza. In the coming days, deliveries of fuel will be made to water pumping stations and water treatment plants, to power emergency generators. These plants, essential to public health and hygiene, have been relying on generators for much of each day, since the destruction by the Israeli Defence Force of the 6 transformers of the Gaza Power Plant two weeks ago. The Commission’s distribution plan will cover 109 water supply stations and 27 waste water plants located in the Gaza strip. This new initiative is in addition to action already taken to provide fuel for hospitals in Gaza. Through the TIM the Commission has already distributed over 120,000 liters of fuel to power the generators of eight public hospitals. The Commission is enlarging the fuel distribution plan to cover 25 health care centres that have generators. The Commission has allocated €105 million to the TIM. Taken together with new allocations of humanitarian and food aid announced in recent days, this brings the total made available from the Community Budget so far this year to the Palestinians to €329 million, considerably above the average annual provision made by the Commission.
The Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner said: “The Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) is enabling the Commission to respond swiftly to urgent needs of the Palestinian population, and to prevent the risk of the spread of disease. We are responding as quickly as possible to each request we receive from President Abbas, and our intervention is making a real difference on the ground. Gaza is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster. I hope that our actions can prevent a crisis becoming a public health calamity.”
She added: “President Abbas’ office has now signed three Financing Agreements with the Commission, paving the way for other elements of the TIM to come on stream, in particular the payment of social allowances to health service providers. The Commission team on the ground in Jerusalem is working round the clock to ensure speedy implementation of the Mechanism”.
The Temporary International Mechanism, developed by the EU at the request of the Quartet (EU, US, UN and Russia) and endorsed by the European Council has three “windows” covering the health sector, utilities and social allowances.
For more information on EU-West Bank and Gaza Strip relations