EU releases ?212 million to ensure healthcare, education and other basic social services to the Palestinian people

Brussels, 18th February, 2015 (WAM) – The European Union has released the first tranche of its 2015 financial support to the Palestinian Authority and to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), totalling ?212 million. This new funding will help provide vital basic services such as education, healthcare and social services to the Palestinian people.

High RepresentativeVice President Federica Mogherini underlined: “An effective Palestinian Authority, committed to non-violence and a peaceful resolution of the conflict, is a key element for the Middle East peace process towards a two-state solution. We will continue to support the Palestinian Authority in consolidating and expanding the important results it has achieved with our support in building the institutions and infrastructure of a future Palestinian State.” Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, commented: “The EU remains committed to the two-state solution and will therefore continue to support the Palestinian Authority in its state-building efforts and in delivering basic social services. Our support remains the quickest and most effective way to deliver funding to the Palestinians, including those living in Gaza, in a moment of severe difficulties”.

This first tranche of ?212 million consists of two components: – ?130 million of direct financial support to the Palestinian Authority through PEGASE.

– ?82 million financial support to UNRWA.

PEGASE (M?canisme Palestino-Europ?en de Gestion de l’Aide Socio-Economique) is the mechanism through which the EU helps the Palestinian Authority build the institutions of the future independent Palestinian State. Through the payment of salaries of civil servants and pensioners, it ensures that essential public services keep operating in addition PEGASE provides social allowances to the Palestinian households living in extreme poverty. Through this financial package, the EU also contributes to alleviating the debts of the Palestinian Authority towards the East Jerusalem hospitals and promotes the reform of the health referral system. .