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Palestinian Government

Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessmenthe has made of the effect on people living withinthe jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority of the cessation of EU aid to the Palestinian government. (104839)

The UK Government are extremely concerned about the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. We are committed to helping the Palestinian people through the EU-led Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) and other projects. The causes of the deteriorating humanitarian situation include the conflict with Israel and amongst Palestinians; an economic downturn due to movement and access restrictions; and the Palestinian Authority's (PA) fiscal crisis, which has meant it has been unable to pay salaries.

The PA's fiscal crisis is mainly the result of the withholding of clearance revenues by Israel and lower tax revenues. The suspension of budgetary support by donors has played a less significant role. This is more than compensated for by an increase in aid through the TIM and other channels. European Union assistance has increased by 27 per cent. this year to £439 million. Aid for Palestinian basic needs through the TIM will reach £131.1 million this year in comparison with£65 million through budgetary aid to the PA in 2005. Without the TIM and other aid, notably from Arab donors, the situation for Palestinians would be far worse than it is now.