New EU contribution: €9 million for the payment of July salaries and pensions of Palestinian civil servants

Jerusalem/PNN/

The European Union has today provided a contribution of €9 million to the July salaries of health and education workers and the pensions of more than 37,500 Palestinian civil servants in the West Bank.

This support will enable the Palestinian Authority to pay Palestinian civil servants notwithstanding the difficult fiscal situation brought about by the COVID-19 crisis and recent political developments. In the context of the Team Europe approach, the EU has frontloaded its financial contribution to support the PA in ensuring the uninterrupted continuation of critical public services.

“This new contribution comes as the Palestinian Authority is struggling to pay salaries and pensions and to maintain the delivery of public services to its people. The fiscal situation of the Palestinian Authority is over-stretched and clearly unsustainable without the acceptance of transfers of the tax revenues collected by Israel.

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Those revenues are Palestinian and should be transferred and accepted irrespective of political tensions. If no solution can be found the entire system may collapse. Instability or chaos are not in the interest of any side. We need a breakthrough so that hope can be restored and trust be rebuilt “said EU Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff.

Since 2008, most of the European Union’s assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is channelled through the PEGASE Direct Financial Support, supporting the PA reform process and various national development plans, currently the National Policy Agenda (NPA) 2017-2022. PEGASE supports the PA’s 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 €2.8 billion were disbursed through PEGASE by the European Commission and various development partners, namely the EU Member States. In addition, the EU provides assistance to the Palestinian people through UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as well as through a wide range of other cooperation projects.

The European Joint Strategy 2017-2020 builds the basis/framework for this engagement and provides a joint EU response to the NPA priorities, including major reforms and development programmes implemented by key ministries in preparation for statehood.