The European Union and Spain provided €19.5 million for a third annual payment of social allowances through the National Cash Transfer Programme benefitting 115,000 vulnerable Palestinian family.
The EU supports the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Ministry of Social Development (MoSD), which is responsible for the provision of basic social protection to the most vulnerable families in the West Bank and Gaza through its Cash Transfer Programme (CTP). For this payment, the European Union has almost doubled its usual financial contribution providing €18.5 million, while Spain allocated its annual contribution of EUR 1 million.
Since 2018, the MoSD did not get the necessary annual budget to provide the full allowances to the entitled 115,000 families and paid only three out of the four annual payments. PEGASE financial contribution has been instrumental to secure these three annual payments. In 2020, PEGASE provided additional funding to include 9,000 families from Gaza CTP waiting list but also gave a top-up in response to the COVID-19 crisis. In 2020, the EU, with some EU member states, reached a total amount of EUR 185 million disbursed to face a very special year of crisis for the payment of salaries, pensions, social allowances and the referrals to the East Jerusalem Hospitals.
"The rights to social security and minimum standard of living are enshrined in universal human rights conventions and agreements, Given the limited PA fiscal space, unpredictable budget and financial instability, European Development Partners remain committed to supporting the Palestinian Authority, as duty bearer, to make available the necessary financial resources for the protection of the most vulnerable segments of the population, which is even more a priority at this time of crisis.", said EU Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff.
"Spain is strongly involved in supporting the Palestinian Government in the delivery of essential public services to the Palestinian population, ensuring ownership and contributing to the reduction of multi-dimensional poverty.", said Head of the Spanish Cooperation Eva Suárez – Leonardo.
Since 2008, most of the European Union's assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is channelled through the PEGASEDirect 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 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.
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)