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$900 million for Palestinian Authority and Gaza humanitarian relief March 3, 2009

Posted by Molly in Analysis.
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Clinton at the Gaza donor conference

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged $900 million in aid and budgetary support to Palestine at an international donors conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on Monday.  Some of the US’s pledge $900 million is new money, some of it is money already pledged, and Gordon Duguid, Acting Deputy Department Spokesman for the State Department, faced pointed questions regarding the source and destination at a Monday press briefing.  Watch the briefing here – the relevant questions start at 1:37 and go till 5:48.

See how the $900 million breaks down after the break.

Here’s how the numbers break down:

  • Up to $300 million will go to meet urgent humanitarian needs and support for the Palestinian Authority’s plan for Gaza. This is to be provided through USAID in coordination with UN agencies, international organizations and USAID grantees, and through the Department of State for the UN agencies, Red Cross, and other humanitarian organizations.  This is new money going to Gaza, in addition to funding that has been earmarked for Gaza.
  • $200 million in budget support to address the Palestinian Authority’s anticipated 1.15 billion budget shortfall for 2009.
  • Up to $400 million to support priorities identified in the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan, that will help the Palestinian Authority solidify economic and institutional reforms in the West Bank. This includes support for private sector development, essential public infrastructure improvements in the West Bank, and security sector assistance coordinated by the U.S. Security Coordinator.

Now for everything that we don’t know – here’s what Mr. Duguid had to say:

QUESTION: The 200 million in budget support is not from previous pledges?

MR. DUGUID: Again, we’ll wait for the fact sheet to come out to get the breakdown between what is new in ’09 and what was planned for fiscal ’09.

QUESTION: Is any part of the 300 million for the humanitarian aid? …

MR. DUGUID: Again, I don’t have a breakdown between humanitarian aid – that is, food and medicine, and reconstruction – that is, bricks and mortar dollar figures – for you. We’ll try and get that.

QUESTION: …[J]ust so taxpayers can understand what the money is going for, if you could actually get details on whether that means roads or telecommunications, electricity?

MR. DUGUID: We will. We will ask. We’ve asked the questions. The details haven’t come to us yet.

And we’ll have to wait for those details as well, until the USAID fact sheet is released.

Photo credit: State Department



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