Middle East

EU hands extra 100 mln euros in aid to Palestinians

Palestinians protest outside the offices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza City on September, 2012 against unemployment and the economic situation in the Gaza Strip. (AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS)

BRUSSELS: The European Commission on Friday announced an extra 100 million euros in aid for water, sanitation, and refugees in the Palestinian territories.

"The decision shows our commitment to help the people of Palestine in the areas which are vital to their everyday lives, such as water, public services and infrastructure," said enlargement and European neighbourhood commissioner Stefan Fuele.

"It also shows our determination to do all we can to support Palestinian refugees," he added.

There will also be an extra package of support to Palestinians living in the so-called Area C, which is under direct Israeli authority but where it is currently almost impossible for Palestinians and international donors to obtain building permits.

After the demolition there of community buildings and infrastructure such as rainwater cisterns, the EU's new funding will provide training and expertise to build new infrastructure.

Additional funding for the United Nations refugee agency for Palestinians (UNWRA) will provide support on education, health, relief and social services for Palestine refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

The new funds brings European Union aid to the Palestinians this year to 200 million euros.





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