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Palestinians: Overseas Aid

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will resume aid to the Palestinian territories. (134517)

The Government continue their substantial programme of assistance to the occupied Palestinian territories (oPts). In the financial year just ended (2006-07), DFID provided £15 million in assistance to the oPts plus a further £15 million for Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. These figures represent a £0.5 million increase on the previous financial year and are in addition to the UK's share of European Community (EC) funding. Overall, European Union (EC and member states) aid was estimated to be 27 per cent. higher in 2006 than in 2005.

Since the formation of a Hamas government in March 2006, DFID has provided the majority of its assistance through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) and the EU’s temporary international mechanism (TIM). UNRWA and the TIM have enabled DFID and many other donors to provide direct assistance to support the livelihoods of Palestinian people and maintain essential services.