As part of the #TeamEurope approach recently adopted by the 27 EU Member States to support partner countries and fragile populations to fight the coronavirus, the European Union has provided today €38 million contribution to the April salaries and pensions of around 43,000 of the Palestinian civil servants in the West Bank.
This support will enable the Palestinian Authority to meet its commitments towards Palestinian civil servants notwithstanding the difficult fiscal situation brought about by the COVID-19 crisis.
The €38 million contribution is funded by the European Union and targets civil servants, mostly working in the social sectors of health and education, as well as pensioners in the West Bank.
"These are difficult times as we face together the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have been engaged from day one with the Palestinian government to advance and readjust our support to better serve the Palestinian people amid this crisis. This €38 million is part of a €71 million assistance package that we announced few weeks ago to respond to the coronavirus pandemic in Palestine. Our contribution today to the payment of salaries and pensions for Palestinian civil servants is yet further evidence of our political will and commitment. It also demonstrates our swift action to deliver our pledges. Our Team Europe approach with all Member States on board should assure our partners that we remain flexible and committed in our support across the globe, and here in Palestine. This EU support is accompanied by technical assistance aimed at improving the effectiveness of public policies and the transparency of public expenditure, " said EU Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff.
Most of the European Union assistance to the Palestinian Authority is channelled through PEGASE, the financial mechanism launched in 2008 to support the PA Reform and Development Plan and subsequent Palestinian national plans and agendas, including the ongoing National Policy Agenda "Putting Citizens First". As well as helping to meet a substantial proportion of its recurrent expenditure, European funds support major reform and development programmes in key ministries to help prepare the PA for statehood. In the last 12 years, over €2.7 billion were disbursed through the PEGASE Direct Financial Support programmes. In addition, the EU provides assistance to the Palestinian people through UNRWA and a wide range of cooperation projects.
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)