New UK restrictions on transfer of financial aid to Mahmoud Abbas’ gov’t is meant to ensure funds deliver “maximum impact for Palestinians,” ensuring funds no longer compensate incarcerated terrorists or the families of killed terrorists.
The United Kingdom on Friday announced that it was placing new restrictions on transfer of aid the Palestinian Authority in order to ensure it does not reach terrorists or their families.
Aid to the PA will continue, but “certain key changes will be made to ensure this funding delivers the best value for money and maximum impact for Palestinians,” said a government statement.
The first change announced in the statement was that support will now focus solely on vital health and education services, in order to meet the immediate needs of the Palestinian people and maximize value for money. Funding will only go towards the salaries of health and education public servants on a vetted list.”
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The UK will help pay the salaries of up to 30,000 teachers, doctors, nurses, midwives and other essential health and education public servants on a vetted list, said the statement, allowing some 25,000 young Palestinians to get an education, providing up to 3,700 immunizations for children, and around 185,000 medical consultations annually.
Financial aid will now be channeled directly through the EU’s PEGASE mechanism (Palestinian-European Socio-Economic Management Assistance Mechanism), said the statement.
The second change is that UK funds will no longer be used to support the salaries of non-working Palestinian Authority public servants in Gaza.
And third, the UK “will assess fiscal and public financial management reforms that the Palestinian Authority will need to show progress against in order to secure full future payments from the UK.” This means UK officials will personally approve aid on an annual basis based on an assessment of the PA’s progress in conducting reforms.
Announcement of the new restrictions came about two months after the UK decided to freeze a 25-million-pound transfer of aid over concerns that funds had been used to pay terrorists or their families, Israeli daily Haaretz notes.
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