HC Deb 08 July 1994 vol 246 cc329-30W
Mr. Ottaway

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further assistance Her Majesty's Government are providing to the new Palestinian administration in Gaza and Jericho.

Mr. Hurd

In response to the urgent needs of the Palestinian authority, Her Majesty's Government have decided to provide an extra £5 million of bilateral assistance this year. A total of £3 million will be for immediate running costs, and £2 million for increased technical cooperation. Part of these funds will be for the Palestinian police. This will help meet the urgent requirements in the key area of maintaining law and order.

The success of the new Palestinian administration in Gaza and Jericho is critical for the future of the peace process. Provision of start-up costs is an immediate need.

Her Majesty's Government have previously announced their intention to contribute £70 million of assistance to the Palestinians and the peace process during 1994–95 and 1996–97, through bilateral and multilateral channels. Many programmes are already underway. Their focus is support for the structures of Palestinian administration: the police, for whom we are already providing training and equipment; the Palestinian Monetary Authority; legal structures and the judiciary; water management and health care. We are also providing assistance for the planned Palestinian elections.