Britain has set out how it will help tackle poverty, boost the economy and support the most vulnerable people in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in its new four year operational plan launched today.
Of the four million people living in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, a quarter live below the poverty line, while 4.8 million Palestinian refugees in the region rely on the United Nations for basic services like health and education.
Under the new plan, Britain will help build up Palestinian services and support those most in need by:
- Providing primary education for over 35,000 children
- Immunising nearly 30,000 under five year olds against measles
- Helping to create 8,000 new jobs, particularly for small and family owned businesses
- Supporting women victims of violence by improving facilities at police family protection units
- Providing direct payments to over 215,000 people so they can buy food, medicine and other essentials to help their families and support local economy
The International Development Minister, Alan Duncan, announced the plans during a visit to the region, where he signed an agreement with Prime Minister Fayyad of the Palestinian National Authority.
The agreement sets out a shared commitment to tackling poverty, highlights the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to non-violence and a negotiated two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and details the Authority’s pledge to respect human rights and strengthen its accountability to the Palestinian people.
Development Minister Alan Duncan said:
I’ve seen for myself how our work in the OPTs has already helped to tackle poverty, protect vulnerable people and make a real difference to the lives of thousands of Palestinians.
To enhance the prospects for peace in the region, it is vital that we continue to work with the Palestinian Authority and other partners to ensure any future state will be stable, well-run and an effective partner for peace. Our long term goal is a sovereign and viable Palestinian state, living alongside a secure and universally recognised Israel, based on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem the future capital of both states, and a fair settlement for refugees.
Prime Minister Fayyad said:
This support is a major vote of confidence in the achievements of the Palestinian state-building agenda. It is an endorsement of this government’s work and further reinforces recent judgements - from the IMF, World Bank and UN - that the Palestinian government and its institutions have reached the technical standard of a functioning state.
We continue to work to strengthen the Palestinian economy and improve service delivery to the Palestinian people and welcome the commitment Britain is making to our efforts.