The European Union (EU) has donated €296 million ($323 million) to the Palestinian Authority (PA), in support of the government and local projects, Wafa news agency reported.
The Palestinian Minister of Finance, Shukri Bishara, and the EU Heads of Mission, signed the deal today in Ramallah, during which Palestinian Authority (PA) President, Mahmoud Abbas, was also in attendance.
The EU donation aims to finance local government and vital projects, including agriculture, civil society and the health sector for Palestinian families based in the Gaza Strip, the Occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.
A significant part of the package, totalling €199.2 million ($217 million), is to support the PA's finances towards social allowances, medical referrals, salaries and pensions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in addition to EU-funded projects in East Jerusalem.
Moreover, a programme with a fund of €30 million ($32 million) will contribute towards improving the volume of drinking water in Gaza, where quality and quantity of water per capita remains below international standards.
Additionally, €27 million ($29 million) will contribute towards funding small and medium-sized enterprises expanding the field of green economy and inclusion of environmental policies.
The EU representative to the Palestinian Territories, Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, said: "Despite the numerous economic, social, and political challenges Palestinians face in their quest for self-determination and well-being in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the EU remains committed to the two-state solution. Our projects and interventions cover almost all aspects of Palestinian life."
He added, "An effective Palestinian Authority guided by the principles of democratic governance and rule of law is a key element for stability, peace and security. In this context, we will continue to call for the respect of existing agreements between Palestinians and Israelis. We will also continue to work with the Palestinian government towards structural, economic and fiscal reforms that will improve the performance and efficiency of its public services," he continued.
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