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EU funding to go to needy families, not PA employees in Gaza who are not working, but PA will continue to pay them

Headline: "The EU: The salary money for the PA employees in Gaza will go to the poor"

"Communication and Information Officer at the European [Union] Commission in Jerusalem Shadi Othman emphasized that no noteworthy change has taken place in the amount of financial aid that the EU is granting to the PA and the citizens of the Gaza Strip through the Palestinian government.
He noted that the developments that have taken place in this matter amount to changes made in the manner of the payment of this aid, and the part that went to the PA employees in Gaza will be transferred to the poor families.
Othman explained to the local newspaper Al-Ayyam that the EU has decided to transfer part of this aid to support the needs of the poor families in the private sector, in order to reduce the rate of unemployment and poverty in the Gaza Strip as they have risen recently, by allocating a sum of 30 million euros from the total financial aid that the EU grants to the PA.
Othman said that these changes are not expected to affect the ability of the PA to finance the salaries of its employees in the Gaza Strip, as this new direction of the EU will ease the burden on the PA in the area of funding the allowances needed for supporting the needs of the poor families.
He said: 'The EU aid to the poor families is meant to cover the large growth that has occurred in the number of poor families that benefit from this aid, and therefore the PA will no longer be obligated to provide this aid to so many needy families, who will receive 20 million euros a year [from the EU]. This is in addition to the 10 million euros granted to support the private sector and programs that will provide employment opportunities, including in the area of infrastructure and commercial projects whose goal is to revive the economy in Gaza. The remaining part of the EU’s financial aid will be transferred to the PA, which will naturally fulfill its role and cover the salaries of its employees.'

He elaborated that the real reason for the EU initiative stems from the implementation of the recommendations that appeared in the report of the EU Monitoring Committee in 2013, one of which centered around the question of why the EU is paying the salaries of employees that are not working. Therefore, the EU did not stop this money, but simply redirected it to a different sector – 'the poor families.'
Othman explained that the total amount of aid that the EU granted to the Palestinians in 2016 reached 300 million euros, 100 million of it for support of UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East), and 200 million euros to the PA, and this is the same annual amount of aid that the EU has granted for the last three years. He emphasized: 'There will be no reduction in the European aid granted to the PA, as it is permanent aid.'"

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