HC Deb 24 May 1994 vol 244 cc140-1W
Mr. Battle

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much aid(a) was given through Britain's bilateral aid programme to Palestine in each year between 1990 and 1993 and (b) will be given in (i) 1993–94, (ii) 1994–95 and (iii) 1996–97; and in each year, how much of this aid was or will be spent (1) in the form of direct grants to local Palestinian organisations, and (2) on the provision of consultation services and technical assistance by British organisations.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Our bilateral aid flows to the occupied territories from 1990–91 to 1992–93 were as follows:

Year £ million
1990–91 1.1
1991–92 1.5
1992–93 1.5

Apart from the British Council-managed training programme—£0.2 million in 1990–91, £0.3 million in 1991–92 and £0.4 million in 1992–93—most of the funds were disbursed through British non-government organisations—NGOs—in many cases working with local Palestinian NGO partners.

In addition we have been making an annual contribution of £6 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency—UNRWA—which is responsible for Palestinian refugees.

In 1993–94 we spent about £2.9 million which includes a contribution of £1.3 million to the technical assistance trust fund set up by the World bank following the signature of the Israeli/Palestinian declaration of principles.

Over the next three years our assistance to the Palestinians will be primarily through our contributions to EC aid and UNRWA. Our bilateral aid will continue to include assistance through NGOs, as well as direct help to Palestinian institutions. The exact proportions of each type of aid are not determined in advance. We aim to respond flexibly to Palestinian needs.