EU, Austria, Ireland and Portugal: over €12 million to support Palestinian famlies

PNN/Ramallah

The European Union is making its first contribution in 2016 to the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) quarterly payment of social allowances.

According to a press statement released on Friday morning, around 119,000 poor Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza will receive financial payments through the PA’s cash transfer program.

This contribution amounts to around €12.2 million and is funded by the European Union (€10 million) and the Governments of Austria (€1.5 million), Ireland (€0.7 million) and Portugal (€0.025 million).

Eligible beneficiaries are poor Palestinian households registered in the cash transfer program of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

The program is designed to provide a basic safety net for the poorest and most vulnerable Palestinians in the occupied West bank and in the Gaza Strip, through cash and in-kind assistance.

Almost 119,000 Palestinian households are currently enrolled in the program.

Almost two-thirds of the beneficiaries live in Gaza.

The €12.2 million contribution covers nearly 40% of the cost of this payment. This contribution is channeled through the PEGASE mechanism.  

“The European Union, Austria, Ireland and Portugal have joined efforts to support this year’s first payment of social allowances to nearly 119,000 poor families registered in the Palestinian cash transfer programme”, said Mr. Ralph Tarraf, the EU Representative.

This payment once more demonstrates our long-standing commitment to providing practical support to the most vulnerable Palestinians in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs.”

According to the press release, this contribution represents the first tranche of the European Union’s support for the cash transfer program in 2016.

Over €42.2 million were made available to support the budget of the cash transfer program this year, including €40 million from the European Union budget and contributions from the Governments of Austria, Ireland and Portugal.