EU, Sweden and Netherlands contribute €20.3 million to PA payment of salaries and pensions

PNN/Bethlehem/

The European Union (EU) is today making a contribution of around €20.3 million for the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) payment to approximately 67,500 Palestinian civil servants and pensioners in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

€15m from the EU, €4.3m from Sweden and €1m from the Netherlands will be channelled through the PEGA SE mechanism in order to support the salaries and pensions paid out by the PA.

EU representative, John Gatt-Rutter, said that the contribution showed the EU’s ‘enduring support for Palestinian state-building’.

He added that ‘the EU’s determination to do all it can to bring about peace – in the face of increasing threats to the two-state vision – was recently reaffirmed by the EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, during her visit to the region in the course of which she called on both sides to take the courageous decisions necessary to re-launch peace negotiations”.

According to the press release, most of the European Union’s assistance to the Palestinian Authority is channelled through PEGASE, the financial mechanism launched in 2008 to support the PA Reform and Development Plan (2008-2010) and subsequent Palestinian national plans.

As well as helping to meet a substantial proportion of its running costs, European funds allegedly support major reform and development programmes in key ministries, to help prepare the PA for statehood. Since February 2008, around €1.8 billion have been disbursed through the PEGASE Direct Financial Support programmes. In addition, the EU has provided assistance to the Palestinian people through UNRWA and a wide range of cooperation projects.