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EU releases €300 million in aid to Palestine

The European Union has provided €300 million ($467 million) in aid to the Palestinian people, the EU Commission announced Tuesday.

The commission said the aid has been provided to finance activities to support Palestinian refugees and the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s Reform and Development Plan. “I am very pleased that the European Commission is largely fulfilling its pledge for the Palestinians only three months after the Paris donor conference,” said Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy. “Once again this shows our strong commitment to support the Palestinian Authority in its quest for improving the lives of the Palestinian people toward a peace agreement with Israel,” she added. Of the sum, about €176 million ($274 million) will be used to allow the “continued delivery of essential public services,” which is the highest priority of the PA.

The fund will help the PA meet its obligations toward civil employees, pensioners and vulnerable sectors of Palestinian society, as well as maintain the functioning of the administration and the provision of essential public services and utilities such as electricity. The money will also help the PA clear its arrears to the private sector. All of these activities will support the people in Gaza, as well as the West Bank, according to the commission. About €14 million ($22 million) will be spent on institution building and €37 million ($58 million) will be used for public infrastructure programs. (