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Palestinians: Overseas Aid

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid his Department has (a) committed to and (b) spent in Gaza in 2009-10. (286687)

The total budget currently allocated for the Occupied Palestinian Territories for this financial year is £67 million.

In the first three months of 2009-10, the Department for International Development (DFID) has spent approximately £6 million in Gaza on support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and other organisations providing humanitarian assistance.

A further £5.5 million is in the pipeline for Gaza, including a payment that we will soon make to the Palestinian Authority (PA) through the World Bank Trust Fund. This will help pay teachers, doctors and engineers, and keep basic services running. In addition, this financial year we expect to spend a further £7.6 million on early recovery assistance in Gaza.

We have earmarked the remaining £20 million for reconstruction when access restrictions are eased and it is possible for projects to start.

Since the political situation in Gaza remains fluid, we cannot give exact figures on how much will be spent this year. However, we aim to maintain flexibility so that we can respond at short notice if possible. The amount of further support to the PA for this financial year, which would also benefit Gaza, is still to be decided.