EU Releases €212m to Support Palestinians

EU Releases €212m to Support PalestiniansEU Releases €212m to Support Palestinians

The European Union (EU) Tuesday announced the release of the first tranche of its 2015 financial support to the Palestinian Authority and to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), totaling €212 million ($241m).

The new funding will help provide vital basic services such as education, healthcare and social services to the Palestinian people, noted an EU statement, the Kuwait News Agency reported. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said, "An effective Palestinian Authority, committed to non-violence and a peaceful resolution of the conflict, is a key element for the Middle East peace process towards a two-state solution."

The €212 million consists of €130 million of direct financial support to Palestine and €82 million of financial aid to the UNRWA.

The EU commissioner for neighborhood and enlargement negotiations, Johannes Hahn, said in a statement, “The EU will continue to support the Palestinian Authority in its state-building efforts and in delivering basic social services."

The EU also announced on Tuesday an increase in its humanitarian assistance in Mali with €32 million for this year.

This new aid will help meet the increasing needs in view of renewed violence, increased displacement and malnutrition. The crisis is compounded by difficult access to the affected populations due to the worsening security situation in northern Mali, EU said in a statement.