EU continues its support: €10 million for the payment of September salaries and pensions

Bethlehem/PNN/

The European Union has today provided a contribution of €10 million to help the Palestinian Authority pay the September salaries and pensions of its civil servants mostly working in the health and education sectors in the West Bank.

As the Palestinian Authority continues to face a deep and deteriorating fiscal crisis, this contribution will help the Palestinian Authority in covering part of its commitments towards Palestinian civil servants. The €10 million contributions are funded by the European Union and target civil servants, mostly working in the social sectors of health and education, as well as pensioners in the West Bank.

“Over the years, the EU has invested in building the institutions of the future independent Palestinian state. This has always been an important financial and political investment, with the clear objective to help to establish a viable, democratic and sovereign Palestinian state. With this payment of €10 million, our total contribution to the current expenditures of the Palestinian Authority’s budget in 2020 amounts to around €90 million.

However, as the achievements of our strong partnership appear to be threatened by serious challenges, including the entirely unsustainable fiscal position of the Palestinian Authority and the devastating consequences of Covid-19, it is high time to act.

As a matter of urgency, the accumulated amount of the Palestinian tax revenues collected by Israel should be transferred and accepted by the Palestinian Authority. This will not only enable the Palestinian Authority to effectively fight the pandemic and mitigate the economic crisis in Palestine. It should also contribute to building trust between the parties.

The European Union, as Palestine’s most important and reliable partner and donor, will continue to firmly support the two-state solution under the internationally agreed parameters and to fully respect its pledges towards the Palestinian people”, 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.