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1 March 2005
Emergency aid budget for Palestine refugees
Minister for Foreign Affairs Karel De Gucht has freed up €750,000 from the emergency aid budget to finance the project "Emergency Employment: Indirect Hire, West Bank" run by UNRWA (United Nations Relief & Works Agency for Palestine Refugees).
The aim of the project is to provide a basic income for unemployed inhabitants of Palestinian refugee camps by involving them in work-intensive activities. These activities are intended to result in the improvement or reconstruction of the infrastructure of the refugee camps in question (sanitary facilities, rural roads, irrigation channels, and so forth).
The project has two objectives: firstly, to provide a basic income for around 24,000 people and their families, and secondly, to contribute towards agricultural development and the improvement of living conditions in the camps, especially in terms of farming and water purification.
During a recent visit to the Palestinian territories, Minister de Gucht saw for himself the difficult living conditions endured by the Palestinians. "Something definitely has to be done to improve the lot of the people living there", he said. "I hope that this aid makes a concrete contribution towards helping these people, whose situation has steadily deteriorated in recent years".