The European Union and Spain provide 19.5 million euros for the payment of social benefits by the National Authority

The European Union and Spain have provided 19.5 million euros for the third annual payment of social benefits through the National Cash Transfer Program, which benefits 115,000 needy Palestinian families.


In a press release, the European Union confirmed that it supports the Ministry of Social Development of the National Authority, which is responsible for providing basic social protection to the most vulnerable families in the West Bank and Gaza Strip through the cash transfer programme. For this payment, the European Union has almost doubled its usual financial contribution by 18.5 million euros, while Spain has allocated its annual contribution of 1 million euros.

Since 2018, the Ministry of Social Development has not received the annual budget needed to provide full payments to the 115,000 families owed and has made only three of the four annual payments. The European Union has played an active role in securing these three annual payments. In 2020, the European Union mobilized additional funding to include 9,000 families from the waiting list for cash transfer programs in Gaza and also provided an increase in the response to the Corona pandemic crisis.

In the midst of the Corona pandemic and its unprecedented disastrous social and economic effects, the European Union and some of its member states spent a total of 185 million euros during 2020, to support the Palestinian Authority in paying salaries, pensions, social benefits and referrals to East Jerusalem hospitals.

European Union representative Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorf said, “The rights to social security and the minimum standard of living are enshrined in international human rights treaties and conventions, and given the Palestinian Authority's limited fiscal margin, unpredictable budget and financial instability, European development partners remain. We are committed to supporting the Palestinian Authority in its efforts to assume responsibility for protecting the most vulnerable segments of the population, and this is even more important in this time of crisis.

As Eva Suarez-Leonardo, head of the Spanish Cooperation, said, "Spain is strongly involved in supporting the Palestinian government in providing basic public services to the Palestinian population, ensuring ownership and contributing to the reduction of multidimensional poverty."

Since 2008, most EU aid to the Palestinian National Authority has been channeled through direct financial support through the PEGASE mechanism, support for the Palestinian Authority reform process and various national development plans, and currently support for the National Policy Agenda 2017-2022.

The "PEGASE" mechanism also supports recurrent expenditures by the National Authority, especially salaries and pensions for civil servants, social allowances paid through the cash transfer program, and part of the costs of referrals to East Jerusalem hospitals.

Since February 2008, more than € 2.8 billion has been disbursed through the "PEGASE" mechanism by the European Commission and several development partners, namely the European Union member states. In addition, the European Union provides assistance to the Palestinian people through UNRWA, as well as through a wide range of other cooperation projects.

The Common European Strategy for the years 2017-2020 adopts the framework for this participation and provides a joint response from the European Union to the priorities of the National Action Plan, including the major reforms and development programs implemented by the main ministries in preparation for the establishment of the state.

 

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