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European Union provides a new contribution of €£13 million to East Jerusalem Hospitals

30 July 2014 -- Today, the European Union is responding with a contribution of €13 million to the major cash flow problems of East Jerusalem Hospitals as a result of the Palestinian Authority's financial crisis. The contribution, which is channelled through the PEGASE[1] mechanism will cover the outstanding costs of referrals of patients for treatment to East Jerusalem Hospitals by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

With an overall contribution of €36 million since 2012, the EU is covering the referral costs over a period of nearly two years (January 2012 to October 2013) for patients referred for treatment in East Jerusalem Hospitals by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. By addressing this severe debt problem, hospital facilities remained open and medical staff continued working to provide much-needed specialized health services to patients across West Bank and Gaza. The EU mobilized its cash transfer mechanism, PEGASE, to deliver its funds to the PA. This comprehensive mechanism is also open free of charge and providing full visibility for other donors to use.

"The EU continues to be a close and reliable partner to the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian people. The objective of our support is to allow the Palestinian Authority meet its obligations towards the East Jerusalem Hospitals and ensure the sustained provision of essential services to the Palestinian people. All six facilities of the East Jerusalem Hospitals Network, which have served Palestinians for more than 50 years, provide quality specialized health services which are not available elsewhere in Palestine. Preserving their work is essential", said the EU Representative John Gatt-Rutter. "Many of the patients that are referred to the East Jerusalem hospitals are Gazans. Therefore this contribution comes at a critical time where the number of cases coming from Gaza is expected to increase", added the EU Representative.

Background:

Most of the European Union's assistance to the Palestinian Authority is channelled through PEGASE, the financial mechanism launched in 2008 to support the PA Reform and Development Plan (2008-2010) and the subsequent PA national plans. As well as helping to meet a substantial proportion of its running costs, European funds support major reform and development programmes in key ministries, to help prepare the PA for statehood. Since February 2008, over €1.66 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.

The East Jerusalem Hospitals serve as the main centres for specialized care within the Palestinian health system. Patients needing services and procedures that are not available in the West Bank and Gaza – such as specialist oncology, renal care and cardiac surgeries - are referred for treatment in the East Jerusalem Hospitals Network facilities by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. There are six health institutions in East Jerusalem: Augusta Victoria Hospital, Makassed Hospital, St Joseph Hospital, St John Eye Hospital, Palestinian Red Crescent Maternity Hospital and Princess Basma Rehabilitation Centre. The EU is supporting all of these six institutions through a programme with World Health Organization.

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

For further details please contact:

The Office of the European Union Representative, West Bank and Gaza Strip, UNRWA Shadi Othman, Tel: +972 (0) 2 541 5867, Mob: +972 (0) 599 673 958 http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/westbank/

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