The European Union (EU) has disbursed €22 million to help 71,162 vulnerable Palestinian families through the National Cash Transfer Programme (NCTP), a joint initiative with the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Social Development (MoSD).
The NCTP provides basic social allowances to the neediest families residing in the West Bank and Gaza, who are living below the extreme poverty line. The EU has been a steadfast supporter of the NCTP for the past 17 years, contributing over €3 billion since 2008.
The latest disbursement comes at a critical time, as the Palestinian Authority (PA) faces a severe fiscal crisis that has threatened the sustainability of the social protection system. The EU reaffirmed its commitment to support the Palestinian social protection system and urged other partners to join the efforts.
“The European Union remains committed to support the Palestinian social protection system, even amid the backdrop of fiscal crisis faced by the Palestinian Authority. The ongoing cash transfer program has encountered unprecedented financial obstacles, emphasizing the need for unified efforts among partners to ensure the financial and fiscal sustainability of the Palestinian social allowance system. Social protection as an intrinsic right and upholding it is a collective responsibility that all duty bearers must safeguard to make sure we leave no one behind,” said Maria Velasco, the Deputy Representative of the EU.
The EU’s assistance to the PA is channelled through the PEGASE Direct Financial Support mechanism, which supports the PA’s reform process and various national development plans, currently the National Development Plan (NDP) 2021-2023. PEGASE also supports the PA’s recurrent expenditures, mainly the salaries and pensions of civil servants, the social allowances paid through the NCTP and part of the costs of referrals to the East Jerusalem Hospitals.
The EU’s support to Palestine is based on the European Joint Strategy 2021-2024, which provides a joint European response to the NDP priorities, including support to major reforms and to programmes implemented by key ministries in preparation for statehood. In addition, the EU provides assistance through UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.