The European Union made the second contribution this year to the Palestinian Authority's (PA) quarterly payment of social allowances to Palestinian families living in poverty in the West Bank and Gaza, said an EU press release issued on Monday.

Around 115,000 poor Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza will receive social allowances through the PA's cash transfer programme. The contribution of Euros 10 million from the European budget is equivalent to nearly one-third of the budget for this payment, said the release.

It noted that the eligible beneficiaries are households living in extreme poverty that are registered in the cash transfer programme of the Ministry of Social Development.

The programme is designed to provide basic safety net to the poorest and most vulnerable Palestinians in the West bank and Gaza, through cash and in-kind assistance. Over 115,000 Palestinian households are enrolled in the programme, with almost two-thirds of living in Gaza.

"The assistance provided through the cash transfer programme is essential to ensure that those Palestinians in greatest need have access to basic services and minimum income security. However, on its own, it is not a sufficient remedy to fight poverty and exclusion," said David Geer, Deputy EU Representative.

"Ultimately, it is only through social and economic development that Palestinians will be provided with real opportunities for growth and prosperity. The Ministry of Social Development's determination to place socio-economic empowerment at the forefront of its upcoming strategy to combat poverty is an encouraging step in that direction."

Payments are made through a network of local banks. Beneficiaries living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank will collect their allowances from 28 August.

This contribution, channelled through the PEGASE(1), represents the second tranche of the European Union's support to the cash transfer programme this year. Over Euros 42.2 million were made available to support the budget of the cash transfer programme in 2016, including Euros 40 million from the European Union budget and contributions from the Governments of Austria, Ireland and Portugal.

Source: WAFA

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