The European Union decided on Tuesday to transfer 300 Million Euros in aid to the Palestinian Authority (P.A) as part of its December 2007 promise to transfer this amount to the Palestinian Authority in 2008.EU Commission spokesperson, Kristian Homan, stated that 71 million Euros of the original 300 million will be transferred to UNRWA, an agency servicing Palestinian refugee humanitarian needs. The rest of the amount will be transferred through a new mechanism for monetary transfer to the Palestinian Authority as set by the EU earlier this year.
The Commission said that aid has been provided to the Palestinian Authority in order to support the refugees and to aid the P.A in facilitating its reform and development plan.
Approximately 176 million will be transferred to Palestinian governmental facilities in order to enable them perform their duties by allowing these facilities to deliver essential public services.
Nearly 14 Million Euros will be used in building Palestinian institutions, and an additional 37 million will be used in financing programs of public infrastructure development.
During the November Conference of the donor countries which was held in Annapolis, USA last November, the European Union pledged to transfer more than a half of the 7.481 M Dollars which was set to be transferred to the P.A.
The EU commission vowed then to transfer 440 Million Euros to the Palestinians in 2008.
Last Wednesday, the United States transferred 150 million US Dollars to the P.A. This amount is part of the 555 million Dollars the US pledged during the Donor Countries’ Summit.
EU Commissioner for External Relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, stated on Tuesday that she was very pleased that the EU is fulfilling its pledge to the P.A only three months after the Paris Summit.
She added that this aid shows the EU’s strong commitment to the P.A in order to improve the lives of the Palestinians and reach a lasting peace deal with Israel.
The fund will also enable the Palestinian government to meet its responsibilities of paying civil employees, pensioners and other sectors on the Palestinian Authority’s payroll.
The aid is also intended to support the Palestinians both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the EU Commission said.
On Monday, European Parliament Vice President Luisa Morgantini visited Al-Najah National University in the northern West Bank city of Nablus and called on Israel to lift its blockade over the Gaza Strip.
She added that a lasting and just peace is achieved by giving more credibility to the peace process through reinforcing the Peace Process based on all related UN resolutions in order to establish a Palestinian State living side by side with Israel.
Morgantini told a large audience of students at the university that Israel is bound by the Geneva Conventions and should allow the flow of humanitarian aid and essential services to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.