At the March 2, 2009 donors conference for Gaza recovery in Sharm el Sheikh, the United States announced its intent to provide support to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Gaza recovery totaling roughly $900 million. The assistance will be available in 2009, and is subject to Congressional approval. The assistance includes continued immediate humanitarian support to the Palestinian people in Gaza, including for the UN Consolidated Appeal; budget support for the PA; and further support for the priorities identified by the PA in the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan.
We will work closely with Congress on our assistance package. It will include the following components:
- Roughly $300 million to meet urgent humanitarian needs, including those identified under the UN appeal and to support the PA’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 UN agencies, ICRC, and other humanitarian organizations.
- $200 million in budget support to address the PA’s anticipated $1.15 billion budget shortfall for 2009.
- Roughly $400 million in 2009 to support priorities identified in the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP) that will help the PA 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 (USSC).
In 2008, the U.S. was the single largest national donor to the Palestinian people. The U.S. exceeded its December 2007 Paris Donors’ Conference pledge of $555 million, committing more than $600 million, including $300 million in direct budget support and $184.7 million in assistance for Palestinian refugees. In addition, since the Gaza crisis began in December 2008, the U.S. has provided over $65 million in immediate humanitarian assistance, primarily through UN agencies and NGOs.