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Thursday, February 26, 2004

Surprise: Germany among highest contributors to Palestinian Authority

Abu Ala with German president, chancellor
40 Million Euros last year, to be increased this year
via IMRA: The Palestinian Authority and the Government of Germany have ended February 20 talks on how and where to spend about 40 million euros Germany has allocated to the Palestinian people for projects during 2004. The two sides signed an agreement of understanding on this at the Ministry of Planning but the official final agreement will be signed between the two governments in Germany in July.

According to a statement released by the German Representative Office in Ramallah, an official German delegation from the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development held talks with Palestinian officials regarding what projects this aid will go for. The delegation, said the statement, visited several German-financed projects in the West Bank and Gaza.

While German aid last year amounted to 40 million euros, the aid is expected to be higher this year, said the statement without giving any final figure. German aid goes mainly to projects in water and wastewater and supports private sector projects as well and for institution building.

The Palestinians are the highest recipients of German international aid per capita and are among the highest contributors to the Palestinian people through European Union institutions and non-governmental organizations.
See also this AP article about Germany welcoming Sharon's proposal to dismantle Jewish settlements in Gaza, and urging Israel to make "substantive" changes to the route of the fence/wall/barrier.