The European Union made a contribution of €20 million to the Palestinian Authority payment of social allowances to vulnerable families in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The EU supports the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Social Development Cash Transfer Programme responsible for the provision of basic social protection to the most vulnerable families in the West Bank and Gaza. The social allowances are paid on a quarterly basis to some 105,000 vulnerable families.
For this second payment in 2019, the contribution of the EU (€20 million) will cover the social allowances of around 71,530 families of which 77% live in the Gaza Strip.
“A social protection system is much more than a shock absorber. Social protection is an investment that strengthens productivity, development and social cohesion. In this context, the EU is working closely with the Palestinian Ministry of Social Development to ensure that basic needs of the most vulnerable families are met “, said the Acting EU Representative Tomas Niklasson. ”This contribution comes at a time where the Palestinian Authority is still facing a challenging fiscal crisis. In line with our partnership and under the current circumstances, we have agreed to double the usual contribution to €20 million by front loading €10 million from our annual commitment. This demonstrates our strong joint commitment towards thousands of families in both the West Bank and Gaza”, he added.
Most of the European Union’s assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is channelled through PEGASE Direct Financial Support since 2008 to support the PA Reform and various National Development Plan, currently the National Policy Agenda (NPA) 2017-2022. PEGASE supports the PA recurrent expenditures, mainly the salaries and pensions of civil servants, the social allowances paid through the cash transfer programme and part of the costs of referrals to the East Jerusalem Hospitals. Since February 2008, over €2.5 billion have been disbursed through PEGASE.
In addition, the EU provides assistance to the Palestinian people through UNRWA as well as through a wide range of other cooperation projects. The European Joint Strategy 2017-2020 provides also a joint response to the NPA priorities including major reforms and development programmes implemented by key ministries in preparation for statehood.