The European Union provided €2.6 million to farmers in Gaza Strip in support of the Palestinian Authority’s programme “Private Sector Reconstruction Gaza -Agriculture”.
The EU contribution of €2.6 million targets 113 additional farmers and agro-businesses to relaunch, repair or replace damaged businesses affected by the conflict. It covers wide range of activities including the acquisition of agricultural supplies, rehabilitation of land and water wells and other small infrastructure works, while incorporating smart and adaptive agriculture techniques.
''The occupied Palestinian territory has a strong agricultural potential especially in Area C and Gaza where farmers suffer the most from the consequences of the ongoing conflict and continuous attacks by either Israeli forces or settlers. I am impressed by the resilience of the Palestinian farmers on their lands, who proved their commitment and managed to create income-generating opportunities that support their families and local economy. This payment comes amid an ever-deteriorating situation for Palestinians, particularly in Gaza, and only few days after the recent escalation in and around the Strip. A fundamental change to the political, security and economic situation in the Gaza Strip is needed, which includes the Palestinian Authority’s full resumption of its governmental functions in Gaza being an integral part of a viable, contiguous and democratic future Palestinian state'' said the EU Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff.
The overall financial envelope of the programme amounts to €10.5 million. Up to date, the programme targeted 375 Palestinian famers and agro-businesses. The programme was designed and is implemented by the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture and the Palestinian Agriculture Disaster Risk Reduction and Insurance Fund. The payments are made by the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Finance through a network of local banks.
Most of the European Union's assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is channelled through PEGASE Direct Financial Support to the PA, the financial mechanism launched in 2008 to support the PA Reform and Development Plan (2008-2010) and the subsequent Palestinian national development plans. It also aims at meeting a substantial share of the PA's running costs. European Union funds currently support major reform and development programmes in key ministries to help prepare the PA for statehood. Since February 2008, over €2.95 billion have been disbursed through PEGASE Direct Financial Support programmes. In addition, the EU has provided assistance to the Palestinian people through UNRWA as well as through a wide range of other cooperation projects.