Minister Kitt pledges additional assistance for Palestinians at Paris Donor Conference
The Minister of State for Overseas Development, Michael Kitt, today pledged €40 million in additional Irish assistance for reconstruction and development in Palestine at the International Donors Conference for the Palestinian State in Paris.
In his statement to the Conference, Minister Kitt expressed the Government’s strong support for the negotiations between President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and stated that “we want to see the establishment of a an independent and democratic Palestinian State, living in peace with Israel and its other neighbours”.
The Minister stated that the credibility of the political process required the unrelenting support of the international community, but also urgent change in the extremely difficult conditions of daily life for ordinary people. “This means an urgent end to all violence, a genuine freeze on settlement construction, the lifting of restrictions on movement and an end to the isolation of the people of Gaza”.
The EU has been the largest single donor to the Palestinian people, providing over €800 million in assistance this year. The Minister noted that Ireland’s assistance has already increased significantly, by 70% since 2005, to €7.5 million in 2007.
He stated: “In the context of political agreement, the Government of Ireland pledges additional assistance of €40 million for Palestinian recovery, reconstruction and development. This will include significant support for the Palestinian Authority as it builds the institutions of democratic statehood, encourages sustainable economic development and provides vital social services to the Palestinian people, prioritising the poorest sections of society. I am pleased to announce an initial pledge of €3 million to support programmes with the Palestinian Authority”.
17th December 2007