€15.6 million from the EU for the payment of October salaries and pensions

Bethlehem/PNN/

The European Union transferred a contribution of €15.6 million to the Palestinian Ministry of Finance to help the Palestinian Authority pay the October salaries and pensions of its civil servants mostly in the health and education sector in the West Bank.

This support will help the Palestinian Authority to meet a part of its commitments towards Palestinian civil servants, as it continues to face a deeply worrying fiscal situation as a result of the prolonged economic crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory. This situation is seriously exacerbated by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing tensions with Israel.

The €15.6 million contributions are provided by the European Union and target civil servants mostly working in the social sectors of health and education in the West Bank as well as pensioners. This payment underlines the EU’s unwavering commitment to helping build an independent, viable, accountable, and democratic Palestinian state.

“This is the first EU budget support contribution in 2021 which was delayed due to lengthy administrative processes given the change to a new budgetary period. Addressing the deepening and unsustainable structural fiscal crisis in Palestine requires the full support of all relevant parties. Israel clearly has to do its part to ensure an increased and predictable flow of revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. The PA, on the other hand, can certainly contribute to alleviating future fiscal pressures, not least by rationalizing the public sector wage bill and reforming the health sector. Irreversible damages to Palestine’s vulnerable socio-economic fabric are not in the interest of any party.” said EU Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff.

Since 2008, most of the European Union’s assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is channeled 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 program, 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, mostly 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.

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