UK to double aid for Palestinian economy in Gaza and the West Bank

By August 01 2018, 14:40 Latest News No Comments

UK Aid Shelter Kits and Water Containers are loaded for shipmentThe UK Government announced on Friday that it would more than double its support for economic development in Gaza and the West Bank.

Minister for the Middle East Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt MP  on Friday said the new UK aid programme will create hundreds of jobs, fix vital water and electricity infrastructure, and increase exports to Israel, the UK and beyond.

The UK will provide up to £38 million over five years (2018-2023) to deliver funding for economic activity in Gaza and the West Bank.

Mr Burt said: “Our new approach to supporting the economy in Gaza and the West Bank will help create desperately needed jobs, boost exports and collect taxes so that the Palestinian Authority can invest properly in vital services such as education and healthcare. Our work will also help to create reliable electricity and clean water supplies”.

A government statement said that the UK aid support will encourage Israeli-Palestinian collaboration by lowering barriers to economic growth and refining the financial sustainability of the Palestinian Authority. It added that this will include bringing substantial reforms to increase the Palestinian Authority’s capability to raise millions of pounds in uncollected revenues and taxes, aiding the Palestinian Authority’s capability to invest in key services such as healthcare and education.

The Minister concluded that “for a truly sustainable economic recovery in Gaza, we urge all parties to refrain from actions which make peace more difficult and cause unnecessary suffering. That means Hamas and other terrorist groups must cease all violent and provocative actions and Israel must reverse its punitive measures and work with the international community”.

The new UK aid programme will help construct the Gaza Central Desalination Plant, provide finances to install solar panels for households, businesses, hospitals and public buildings, connect Palestinian IT firms and UK businesses, fund experts to help the Palestinian Authority work with the Government of Israel to unblock the transfer of taxes and custom revenues and provide technical support to help Palestinian businesses export more, including by reducing logistics costs, removing barriers to exporting and helping them meet international standards.

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