Middle East, Europe

EU announces $26M in humanitarian aid for Palestine

Move comes amid criticism on European Commission's withholding financial support over school textbook controversy

Agnes Szucs   | 16.05.2022
EU announces $26M in humanitarian aid for Palestine

BRUSSELS

The EU announced on Monday €25 million (approximately $26 million) in humanitarian aid for vulnerable Palestinians in occupied West Bank.

The financial assistance aims to counterbalance the rising energy and food prices exacerbated by the war in Ukraine that adds on the top of the economic crisis in the West Bank and Gaza, the European Commission said in a statement.

The funding will support Palestinian families' access to basic services and assistance, as well as “healthcare assistance, including mental care for trauma, to those affected by the continued violence, the ramifications of the blockade on Gaza and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the statement added.

“The EU continues to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people,” said EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic.

He stressed that the EU will continue to “insist on the full respect for international humanitarian law and condemn the continued evictions of civilians and demolitions of their homes, schools and basic infrastructure.” “This needs to stop."

The new pledge comes amid criticism on the EU executive body for delaying the disbursement of financial aid for Palestine promised for 2021 because of a controversy over school textbooks in Palestine allegedly containing anti-Semitic texts and incitement to violence.

“There is no reason for the European Commission to delay over €300 million of funding for the Palestinian Authority,” Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told reporters on Monday on the way to the meeting of EU top diplomats.

He explained that he had already raised this problem at last month’s reunion and “every minister, except one, spoke strongly in favor of the immediate release of that money.”

“This is EU money, it's not European Commission money,” Coveney underlined, promising that he will again talk about the problem at the meeting.

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