Germany is to donate €55.56 million ($65 million) to fund projects in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as Jerusalem, in the coming year.
The announcement was made yesterday by Estephan Salameh, special advisor to Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh.
Salameh said that the German support will be used in various sectors, including water and sanitation, infrastructure for local government bodies and support for the private sector and small companies. According to Wafa news agency, he pointed out that all the projects to be financed by the donation fall within the PA's priorities.
Moreover, the aid will also help families suffering from difficult economic conditions with much-needed hygiene items, especially in areas that have recorded an increase in Covid-19 infections. The total number of coronavirus cases in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem stands at 93,400.
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Germany's representative to Palestine, Ambassador Christian Klaghas, said that his country's support for the Palestinian government for the year 2021 will focus on the economy affected by the coronavirus pandemic by providing temporary job opportunities and maintaining the sustainability of services. He explained that this contribution is a clear message of Berlin's strong commitment to the Palestinian people at this critical time.
Klaghas added that part of the new aid will go to finance the establishment of a distribution network for the desalination plant programme in the Gaza Strip, which serves about one million citizens in the territory.
In a region rife with conflicts, and now battling the health and socioeconomic impacts of Covid-19, such funds are vital for some degree of regional stability.