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Source: European Commission
1 August 2013



The EU and the Netherlands contribute to the Palestinian Authority payment of July salaries and pensions ahead of the Eid Al-Fitr


Today the European Union has contributed approximately €10.9 million to the payment of the salaries and pensions for July of nearly 75,000 Palestinian civil servants and pensioners in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This contribution is funded by the European Commission (€10.0 million) and the Government of the Netherlands (c. €0.9 million earmarked specifically to the PA salaries in the Justice sector). The Government of the Netherlands has also made an additional separate contribution of €1.5 million to cover part of the wage bill of more than 18,000 members of the Palestinian civil police and civil defence, which includes fire-fighters and rescue workers. Both contributions are being channelled through PEGASE[1], the European mechanism for support to the Palestinians.

"This latest contribution of the European Union to the salaries and pensions of civil servants working for the Palestinian Authority comes against a background of positive momentum in the peace process with the launch of direct negotiations in Washington. The EU reiterates its solid support for the Palestinian Authority and its achievements to-date. The contribution from the Government of the Netherlands is particularly welcome as it targets the rule of law sector, an area where the Palestinian Authority has made significant progress. I would like also to take this opportunity to wish our Muslim friends in Palestine a happy and joyful Eid Al-Fitr." said John Gatt-Rutter, the European Union Representative.

Background

Most of the European Union's assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is channelled through PEGASE, the financial mechanism launched in 2008 to support the PA Reform and Development Plan (2008-2010) and the subsequent PA Palestinian National Plan (2011-2013). As well as helping to meet a substantial proportion of its running costs, European funds are supporting major reform and development programmes in key ministries, to help prepare the PA for statehood in line with the state-building plan put forward by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in August 2009. Since February 2008, around €1.53 billion have been disbursed through the PEGASE Direct Financial Support programmes. In addition, the EU has provided assistance to the Palestinian people through UNRWA and a wide range of cooperation projects.

[1] Mécanisme Palestino-Européen de Gestion de l'Aide Socio-Economique (PEGASE)

Contact:

The Office of the European Union Representative
West Bank and Gaza Strip, UNRWA
Antonia Zafeiri, Tel: +972 (0) 2 5415 859, Mob: +972 (0) 548 024 915
Shadi Othman, Tel: +972 (0) 2 541 5867, Mob:: +972 (0) 599 673 958


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