The Government of the Netherlands has made a contribution of NIS 49.5 million towards the wage bill for the Palestinian civil police, as well as members of the civil defence, such as fire-fighters and rescue workers. The contribution will be channelled through PEGASE, the European mechanism for support to the Palestinians.
The first disbursement from this contribution, which will reach the bank accounts of 14,785 employees of the Palestinian civil police and civil defence today, 6 January 2010, amounts to NIS 39,138,728 (more than €7.17 million). More than 9,100 of the recipients of this payment are based in Gaza. A second disbursement will take place in early February.
"This support tallies in neatly with the overall support to the justice and rule of law sector provided by the Netherlands, to back the ambition reflected in the Plan of the 13th Government to ensure safety and security to all Palestinians," said Mr. Jack Twiss Quarles van Ufford, the Head of the Netherlands Representative Office to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
PEGASE channels EU assistance to help build a Palestinian State, in accordance with the priorities and needs identified by the Palestinian Authority. 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 Netherlands' contribution complements the ongoing programme of EU assistance to the Palestinian Authority to ensure the continuous provision of essential public services, channelled through the EU's dedicated PEGASE mechanism. As well as helping the PA 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 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 PA 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 and the PEGASE mechanism, please visit: www.delwbg.ec.europa.eu
 Mécanisme Palestino-Européen de Gestion de l'Aide Socio-Economique (PEGASE)
Shadi Othman, Press and Communication Officer, European Commission Technical Assistance Office (ECTAO), 02-541-5888
Netherlands Representative Office, 02-240-6639