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World Bank grants $10 million for direct assistance to vulnerable Palestinian families

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Press Release No:2011/456/MENA

Washington, April 28, 2011 – World Bank-supported cash transfer programs have been key in providing timely emergency assistance to vulnerable families in times of crisis in the West Bank and Gaza and today the institution approved a $10 million grant to support the most poverty stricken Palestinians, targeting about 5,500 families.

The Cash Transfer Project (CTP) approved today builds on the Social Safety Net Reform Project (SSNRP), which has supported the Palestinian Authority (PA) in developing and managing one of the most advanced cash assistance programs in the region. During the 2009-10 food crisis, some 25,000 families received timely, direct aid through this program. The CTP will be fully integrated in the wider PA social assistance system, ensuring that aid is coordinated with employment and education schemes.

“In addition to direct aid, this grant will assist the PA to further refine its poverty-targeting mechanism and implement its plan to progressively graduate households out of poverty through employment generation programs,” said Samira Hillis, Senior Operations Officer.

Using a transparent poverty-targeting mechanism and relying on close coordination between donors and PA agencies, the SSNRP has to date provided crucial aid to some 63,000 Palestinian households.

“Although the Palestinian economy has been growing for the past three years, many Palestinian families are still affected by the instability of the previous decade, by lack of economic opportunities and unemployment remains high,” said Mariam Sherman, Country Director for the West Bank and Gaza. “Helping these families cope with adversity is an important part of our aid strategy.”

Contacts:

In West Bank and Gaza: Mary Koussa, (972) 2-2366500, mkoussa@worldbank.org In Washington: Thoko Moyo, (202) 4588517, tmoyo@worldbank.org

For more information on the World Bank Program in West Bank and Gaza, visit: www.worldbank.org/ps