|UK Financial Support to the Palestinian people |
The UK has allocated £31.6 million in bilateral support to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in 2007/08, managed by the Department for International Development (DFID). Including our share of European Community assistance, this rises to over £70 million.
In January 2007, the previous Foreign Secretary announced a 5-year, £100 million commitment to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to support Palestinian refugees in the region. We paid this year’s annual allocation of £15.6 million in April.
In response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Hilary Benn, the former Secretary of State for International Development, announced £1 million for the International Committee of the Red Cross/Crescent on 19 June. This has gone to support a wide range of activities, including providing healthcare, food, household relief kits and rebuilding water and sanitation facilities.
More recently, the UK was one of the first among the international community to commit funds to Prime Minister Fayyad’s Government. On 17 July, we announced a £3 million contribution to help the Palestinian Authority repay private sector arrears, at the request of Dr. Fayyad. We stand ready to do more.
The EU has been proactive, creative and generous in responding to Hamas' failure to accept the three principles set out by the Quartet and agreed by President Abbas. The EU gave €680 million to the Palestinians in 2006, more than in any previous year. In June 2006 the EU, with significant help from the UK, set up the Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) to deliver support directly to the Palestinian people.
As of mid-July, the TIM had disbursed an estimated €315 million, paying allowances to 150,000 public sector employees and social hardship cases; providing basic goods and services; and paying for fuel for the Gaza power station and for generators in hospitals and sanitation utilities. As a result, almost a million people have benefited from allowances, 1.3 million people in Gaza now have clean water, and 22 Ministry of Health hospitals, 472 clinics and 146 health laboratories are functioning.
The UK has contributed £15 million so far to the TIM, which has been coordinated with the Ministry of Finance, so enabling Dr Fayyad to pay full salaries to the civil service in July for the first time in a year.
For a more detailed breakdown of the UK’s financial support, please click on the links below.