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UK provides $18 million to support the PA amid its financial crisis
The UK has provided $18 million to the Palestinian Authority, as part of its pledge to provide $155 million over three years. It will make a real difference on the ground, helping the PA run its hospitals, schools and welfare services at a time when the PA is under significant financial stress.
The UK had planned to provide $11.6 million. However, an additional $6.4 million will be channelled to the PA in response to the progress it made in 2012 to improve the way it is using its resources. The PA is targeting its budgets towards the poorest and most vulnerable, raising more of its own income, tackling corruption and taking steps to deliver more and better health and education services with less money. A recent study by the World Bank found that the PA’s financial assistance to poor households in the West Bank and Gaza is one of the best targeted in the world, with 84% of beneficiaries among the poorest 20% of the population.
British Consul General in Jerusalem, Sir Vincent Fean said: “In this decisive year for peace, the UK remains strongly committed in its support to building a viable independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders. Real and sustainable change in the Occupied Palestinian Territories can only be achieved through an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. DFID’s assistance is a clear demonstration of the UK’s reliability and commitment in assisting the Palestinian Authority to overcome its current financial difficulties. We commend the achievements of the Palestinian leadership in its state-building efforts.”
Jonathan Hargreaves, Head of the UK’s Department for International Development in Jerusalem also said: “I see first-hand how our work is helping to tackle poverty, protect vulnerable people and make a real difference to the lives of thousands of Palestinians. From 2011-15, UK funds will help the PA support 5700 children a year through primary school, immunise 2000 children a year against measles and provide much needed cash transfers to 7000 of the poorest people. I am proud that the UK, despite economic problems at home, is increasing its support.”
These funds are in addition to aid provided through the European Union, 15% of whose budget is funded by the UK. In 2013, the EU plans to spend approximately $200 million.
This assistance comes at a critical time for the PA, which continues to face a funding crisis, undermining its efforts to deliver services and improve the quality of life for ordinary Palestinians. The UK is working hard to reduce uncertainty and strengthen the PA. The UK was the first donor to sign a partnership agreement with the PA in 2011. We remain a committed and predictable partner and continue to encourage others to be the same. A representative from the Ministry of Finance, said: “The Palestinian Authority warmly welcomes the UK’s continued support. It is giving more than originally pledged, which is critical in these difficult times. The UK remains a reliable partner. We urge other donors to follow its lead, setting out their long term commitments in a more predictable way. This, in turn, allows us to budget and plan more effectively.