The European Union and Ireland made a contribution of over €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 108,000 vulnerable families.
For this payment, the contribution of the EU (€20 million) and Ireland (€275,000) will cover the social allowances of around 76,700 families of which 77% live in the Gaza Strip.
Jonathan Conlon, Representative of Ireland said at this occasion that "Support for the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Social Development Cash Transfer Programme is a part of Ireland’s ongoing efforts to improve life for the most vulnerable in Gaza. As has long been recognised, the closure of the Gaza Strip has created an untenable situation and the people of Gaza deserve better. Through our programming and our political dialogues, Ireland seeks to offer hope to people living there and to bring about a sustainable improvement in living conditions."
Tomas Niklasson, Deputy European Union Representative said that the "EU and Member States remain committed to supporting Palestinians in accessing basic needs to guarantee a fair and dignified life for every Palestinian family. Following the financial crisis faced by the PA, this is the very much awaited first contribution in 2019. A protected and empowered Palestinian society is a key element in building the future Palestinian State".
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.
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)
 Mécanisme Palestino-Européen de Gestion de l'Aide Socio-Economique (PEGASE)