HL Deb 10 May 1999 vol 600 cc121-2WA
Lord Stoddart of Swindon

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the annual amount of aid from the European Union to the Palestinian authority; how much is provided by the United Kingdom; and whether the aid is properly, honestly and efficiently administered. [HL2254]

Baroness Amos:

The European Union, including individual member states, has made a major contribution to supporting the Middle East Peace Process by providing 54 per cent. (approximately £1 billion) of total development assistance to the Palestinians from 1993–98, an average of some £210 million a year.

Over the same period, the UK has spent some £141 million on development assistance for the Palestinians, £78 million of which has been in contributions to the EC programme. This represents an average contribution of £28 million a year.

We maintain regular links with EC officials in Brussels and the West Bank and Gaza and participate in the Maghreb/Mashreq Working Group at which policy towards EC projects for the Palestinian authority is discussed. To enable member states to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of EC aid we have pressed for an evaluation of the EC's last five-year programme of assistance for the Palestinians, which ended in December 1998. We understand that this evaluation was recently finalised, and expect to receive a copy of the findings shortly. We will place a copy in the Library of the House.