Contribution to PEGASE 2019-2020
The overall objective of this temporary EU support is to maintain the viability of the two-state solution by avoiding the fiscal collapse of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and sustaining basic living conditions of the whole Palestinian population.
The specific objective is to support the Palestinian national development agenda and in particular: (1) to deliver to the Palestinian Population essential basic services by maintaining the functioning of the administration; (2) to improve the economic opportunities of poor, vulnerable and isolated population; and (3) to support the Palestinian Authority in reducing its budget deficit and implementing its reform agenda while increasing its transparency and accountability.
Three categories of public expenditure are eligible for support under the PEGASE Direct Financial Support (DFS) mechanism: Component 1: Supporting Palestinian administration and services. Component 2: Supporting the Palestinian social protection system (Vulnerable Palestinian Families). Component 3: Support to East Jerusalem hospitals.
The Austrian transfer contributes to Component 2.
The target group comprises poor and vulnerable Palestinian families in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Austrian contribution may benefit approx. 5,720 people.
Component 2 Beneficiaries in West Bank and Gaza are selected according to a proxy-means-test-formula determining levels of poverty and taking into account other vulnerability factors. According to the Ministry of Social Development, 66% of the beneficiary families live in Gaza Strip and 34% in the West Bank.
Together with the EU and several other EU member states + Switzerland, ADA/Austria will contribute to the quarterly payment of social allowances to poor and vulnerable Palestinian families through the Palestinian Authority's national cash transfer programme (CTP) that functions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The objective of this activity is to ensure the continued assistance to Palestinian families living in extreme poverty, who are dependent on financial aid from the Palestinian Authority. This activity also reinforces the reform of the social protection system and the social cohesion among Palestinians.
The overarching objective of the EU's support to Palestine is to contribute to maintaining the viability of the two-state solution. The multi-annual programming document for 2017-2020 is currently being implemented. This serves the purpose of ensuring continuity of the PEGASE Direct Financial Support (DFS) to the Palestinian Authority, thereby sustaining the delivery of basic services to the entire Palestinian population. Through PEGASE DFS, the EU has contributed substantially to the recurrent expenditure of the national budget (over EUR 2.3 billion since 2008), with systematic, predictable and unconditional contributions to the payment of Palestinian Authority civil servants' salaries and pensions ("Civil Servants and Pensioners" programme), of social allowances to the poorest and most vulnerable Palestinian families ("Vulnerable Palestinian Families" programme), and, since 2013, of health referral bills through the "East Jerusalem hospitals" programme. PEGASE DFS has contributed substantially to state building, as well as to the social cohesion, economic and security stabilisation of the Palestinian territories.