"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, is today in the Palestinian Territories to meet with civilian victims on all sides of the conflict and to reaffirm Europe’s solidarity. This solidarity is expressed by significant financial support from the European Commission, one of the world’s major donors. For 2007, The Commission has pledged €60 million in humanitarian aid. This afternoon, the Commissioner will meet with Mr Azzam Al-Ahmad, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority.
“Today, the humanitarian situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is increasingly worrying. The conflict, constant infringements of international humanitarian law, the restrictions on movement of people and products, as well as the construction of the security barrier have provoked a serious decline in living conditions. I want to reiterate European solidarity with the civilians, the innocent victims of this conflict,” stated Louis Michel.
During his five days visit, the Commissioner will meet civilians, affected by the conflict and he will visit humanitarian projects implemented by UNWRA in Salfit (Governorate of Salfit- West Bank).
Today, the EC Commissioner will meet with M. Azzam al-Ahmad, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority. Among other subjects, they will discuss the difficulty of access for humanitarian actors, movement restrictions, the security barrier, settlements, house demolitions, and the conflict's impact on the civilian population.
Since the beginning of the second Intifada in 2000, the European Commission has provided humanitarian aid worth more than €333 million to meet the vital needs of Palestinians throughout the region. For 2007, a €43 million global relief plan and a €17 million food aid decision are planned by the Commission. This €60 million aims primarily to respond to the most urgent needs of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza (water, sanitation, food, temporary employment), and to finance shelter rehabilitation for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. In 2006, the Commission Humanitarian aid department provided €84 million in humanitarian assistance for the most vulnerable Palestinians.
More information: http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/echo/field/gaza/index_fr.htm
Contact: Nathalie Charbonneau: + 32 498 981 240 / Amadeu Altafaj: + 32 498 952 658