HC Deb 24 May 1994 vol 244 cc113-4W
Mr. Elletson

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance Her Majesty's Government are providing bilaterally and through the EC to support the Palestinians in the light of the Gaza-Jericho agreement signed in Cairo on 4 May.

Mr. Douglas Hogg

The following is the information:

United Kingdom aid to Palestinians

The United Kingdom intends to provide £70 million bilaterally and multilaterally to the Palestinians over the next three years.

EC assistance

Much of our aid will go through the EC, which will provide 500 mecu during 1994–98, half in grants, half in EIB loans. Of the 50 mecu of grants for 1994, the United Kingdom was instrumental in stimulating a contribution of up to 10 mecu for the Palestinian police.

The EC is also providing assistance for the Palestinian elections.

Bilateral and other assistance

We are providing £6 million to UNWRA in 1994. In addition, the United Kingdom has put together a series of bilateral initiatives in areas where we have particualar expertise and which the Palestinians have identified as priorities. These include:

  1. (i) Police Training
    • We are running two training courses for senior Palestinian police officers in June and July. We are considering offering further training in specialist areas such as riot control, forensic work and community policing.
    • We are providing 200 sets of riot control equipment.
  2. (ii) Legal Assistance
    • We are providing expert legal help to the chairman of the Higher Palestinian Legal Committee.
  3. (iii) Assistance with the Palestinian Elections
    • We are helping with preparation for the elections—in addition to the EC assistance. We will provide monitors for them when they take place.
  4. (iv) Financial Sector
    • The UK held a very successful seminar on financial markets in the Middle East on 28 and 29 April.
    • The Bank of England is offering assistance on central banking matters—probably primarily training.
    • The UK has offered to provide consultancy services and other assistance to the commercial banking sector in the occupied territories.
    • We are undertaking a study of middle east stock markets.
  5. (v) PECDAR
    • The UK is ready to provide assistance to the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction—PECDAR.
  6. (vi) Media Project
    • The UK is supporting the establishment of a Palestinian radio station.
  7. (vii) Assistance to NGOs and Other Agencies
    • Under the ODA' s special programme of assistance to the occupied territories, we are providing support for: a nurses training programme in Gaza; work of British NGOs including medical aid for the Palestinians and Save the Children; water resources management projects; and training in institution building, with the British Council.

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