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Belgium, EU contribute $12.7 million to PA welfare program

Oct. 5, 2012 10:30 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 6, 2012 7:40 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Belgium and the European Union have contributed 9.8 million euros ($12.7 million) to the Palestinian Authority's welfare scheme for families living in extreme poverty in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The donation is made through the PEGASE system, and includes 9 million euros from the Belgium government, according to a press statement released Friday.

The support will go to cash payments for 59,599 Palestinian families in need, it said.

EU Representative John Gatt-Rutter said the contribution "is all the more essential in periods of deepening fiscal crisis, as the one Palestine is currently witnessing."

"Following the last donors meeting in New York, where the financial difficulties of the PA were at the centre of the discussion, I take this opportunity to reiterate the need for all donors to maintain their support and ensure that the PA can continue to provide essential public services to Palestinian citizens", he added.
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