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Source: Australia
6 July 2004


Australian support for fiscal reform for Palestinian Authority

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, ALEXANDER DOWNER

AA 04 047 6 July 2004

I am pleased to announce that Australia will contribute $1 million towards the World Bank's multi-donor public financial management reform trust fund for the West Bank and Gaza.

The World Bank established the reform trust fund to further strengthen the Palestinian Authority's financial management mechanisms, to reduce poverty and to support the advancement of the Middle East peace process.

These objectives accord with Australia's own policy goals including to strengthen the capacity of Palestinian institutions to provide essential services to Palestinian refugees.

Poor services and deteriorating infrastructure in Gaza, particularly in Rafah, has marginalised vulnerable groups in Palestinian society. The reform trust fund will assist the Palestinian Authority to sustain essential service delivery to those Palestinians in most need.

The trust fund is performance-based and benchmarked on achievements in budget allocations and accountability.

This contribution is part of an estimated $12 million in Australian assistance to support Palestinian refugees over 2004/05.

Media inquiries:

Chris Kenny (Minister's Office) 02 6277 7500 or 0419 206 890
Jo Elsom (AusAID) 02 6206 4960 or 0412 804 489


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