The UK and Palestinian National Authority (PNA) have agreed to a new approach to tackling poverty in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) in a drive to improve basic services and raise the standard of living for tens of thousands of people.
The agreement will see the UK work with the PNA over the next two years to strengthen state institutions, including government Ministries and the civilian police, thereby building Palestinian leaders’ ability to meet the needs of its own people. This will include the development of key services such as health and education.
The new approach will allow the PNA to better plan for its immediate, mid-term and longer-term needs, by giving upfront confirmation of UK spending plans - comprising up to £82 million in 2009-10 and up to £74 million in 2010-11.
The agreement also highlights the PNA’s commitment to embedding the protection of Palestinian’s human rights in all institutions and ensuring the PNA policies are aligned to international conventions.
Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad and the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, Douglas Alexander, signed the partnership Memorandum of Understanding - the first of its kind between the UK and PNA – which set out four objectives for a new ‘development partnership’:
- reducing poverty in the Occupied Palestinian Territories;
- respecting human rights and relevant international obligations;
- strengthening financial management and accountability of PNA institutions;
- ensuring that DFID funding and projects support the Palestinians’ own development priorities
Prime Minister Fayyad said:
“This Memorandum of Understanding is important not only because of the support it gives to the Palestinian National Authority, but also because it sets a time frame for implementation of the PNA’s own obligations. I hope to see other countries and donors proceed with similar steps to help the PNA fulfil its obligations, and also strengthen its ability to continue building Palestinian state institutions across a range of sectors. Such steps also support the Palestinian people to end the occupation and secure their rights and independence, by building their own state up to the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
“This support reflects the trust the British Government has in the Palestinian government and its governmental program ‘Palestine: ending the occupation, establishing the state’. The PNA is working tirelessly to continue building Palestinian institutions according to international standards, providing essential services for its citizens, and nourishing the Palestinian economy. I thank the British government for their support, and for the positive attitude the international community is showing towards the PNA’s efforts to build a solid and reliable state.”
Douglas Alexander said:
“The document that Prime Minister Fayyad and I have signed today reflects the importance both parties attach to our development partnership.
“To enhance the prospects for peace in the region, it is vital that we continue our joint efforts to build and maintain strong Palestinian institutions capable of delivering high-quality services to their people. The UK is committed to this task and our support is making a real difference.”
Notes to editors
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