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Palestinians: EC Aid

Volume 458: debated on Monday 26 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much has been paid to HSBC to transfer social welfare payments to Palestinian (a) workers, (b) pensioners and (c) welfare recipients; and who has paid the costs of transferring these funds. (128993)

The total fees paid so far to HSBC are €2,931,028. Of this €158,823 was for payments to pensioners; €1,910,125 for payments to workers; and €862,080 for payments to social hardship cases. Costs have been paid by each donor contributing to the TIM, proportionate to their contribution. So far the TIM has disbursed a total of €181 million in direct assistance and to support basic services for the Palestinian people.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many European Commission staff are involved in administering the Temporary International Mechanism. (128998)

There are six European Commission staff working in the Temporary International Mechanism Management Unit in Jerusalem.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment the European Commission has undertaken of the operation of the Temporary International Mechanism; how Palestinians were included in this process; and what the conclusions were. (129097)

The European Commission and the World Bank have begun work on a review of the Temporary International Mechanism (TIM). This will assess the impact of each of the TIM’s three windows as well as its overall impact. Consultation with Palestinians and the international community is expected to take place from April 2007.

So far the TIM has provided €181 million in direct support to the Palestinian people, including financial assistance benefiting an estimated 900,000 people and supplies to keep basic services going, including over 4.6 million litres of fuel for power supplies in Gaza. Increased EU and other donor funding is assessed as the main reason that the decline in the Palestinian economy over the last year has been much less than feared. The TIM has made an important contribution in this regard.