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The EU and the Palestinian Ministry of Social Development concluded yesterday a series of Iftar events organised during Ramadan for vulnerable families. The final Iftar was hosted by the SOS Children's Village in Bethlehem and brought together children, local officials, and social workers.
The series of Iftar events supported by the European Union started at Khan Al Ahmar (Jerusalem), a Bedouin community that faces an imminent threat of demolition by the Israeli authorities. Throughout Ramadan, Iftars were held in seven other communities: Salfit, Ramallah, Gaza, Sabastiya, Tulkarem, Al Samu’ Khirbet Ghuwein (Hebron) and the SOS Children's Village in Bethlehem.
More than 1,500 beneficiaries attended the Iftars, which provided a unique opportunity to meet families, local stakeholders, and members of the international community. Following each Iftar, the night was entirely dedicated to the children who enjoyed a vibrant programme with music, dancing, clowns and costumed cartoon characters.
"We are proud to join Palestinians during Ramadan for the fourth year in a row. These occasions promote values of solidarity and empathy," said the Deputy EU Representative Tomas Niklasson. "The EU's partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to organise these Iftars, as well as coordinate our support is crucial to the well-being of the most vulnerable families of the Palestinian society. Together, and throughout the year, we want to ensure that every person has access to basic services," he added.
The EU and Member States are leading donors in the social protection sector in Palestine. The EU's support to the Palestinian Authority cash transfer programme is a commitment to the welfare of vulnerable families in the West Bank and Gaza. The EU supports the Ministry of Social Development in serving over 600,000 individuals, of which 80% live in the Gaza Strip. In 2018, the EU and Member States will provide €51.4 million to support families in need in Palestine.
The Office of the European Union Representative
Shadi Othman (02 5415 867, 0599 673 958); Inas Abu Shirbi (02 541 5 859, 0599 673 957)