In line with its commitment to ensure the continuous delivery of public services to the Palestinian population, the European Union is contributing today just under €6.3 million (NIS 34,329,009) for the payment of Palestinian civil servants wages and pensions of December 2009. Funds for this payment have been made available by the European Union and the Governments of Ireland and Luxembourg, and are channelled through PEGASE, the European mechanism for support to the Palestinians.
The combined PEGASE contribution, including €1.5 million from Ireland and €0.5 million from Luxembourg, will be added to the payment of salaries and pensions by the Palestinian Ministry of Finance. It will reach today the bank account of 80,021 beneficiaries in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
"By this contribution to cover salaries and pensions of December, the European Union's support to the Palestinian people in 2009 reached more than €500 million" said Mr. Christian Berger, the European Union Representative in Jerusalem. "The European Union fully appreciates the difficult budgetary situation that the Palestinian Authority continues to face, and reiterates its commitment to support Prime Minister Fayyad's effort to maintain regular salary payments, as a way of ensuring the continuous delivery of public services to the Palestinian people both in the West Bank and Gaza."
PEGASE channels EU assistance to help build a Palestinian State, in accordance with the priorities and needs identified by the Palestinian Authority in its three year reform and development programme (PRDP). Launched by the European Commission on 1 February 2008, it is the main financing mechanism of the European Union, the largest donor to the Palestinians.
The European Union and EU Member States committed more than €289 million in 2009 in support of the Palestinian Authority's recurrent costs through PEGASE. As well as helping the Palestinian Authority to meet a substantial proportion of its running costs, European funds support major reform and development programmes in key ministries, to help prepare the Palestinian Authority for statehood in line with the plan proposed in August 2009 by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
The EU is the largest single donor to the Palestinian people. Since 2007 it has provided total assistance to the Palestinian people, including civil society organizations and refugees, averaging more than €500 million annually.
For further information on the EU's assistance to the occupied Palestinian territory , please contact:
Communication and Information Officer
European Commission Technical Assistance Office for the West Bank and Gaza Strip
PO Box 22207 Mount of Olives
Tel: +972 (0)2 541 5888 ext 867
Fax:+972 (0)2 541 5848
Website : www.delwbg.ec.europa.eu