HC Deb 10 January 2001 vol 360 c580W
19. Mrs. Ellman

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the impact of aid to support economic development in the Palestinian Authority. [143214]

Clare Short

Development assistance from the international community has contributed to economic development in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in recent years. As part of this wider effort the UK is working within the context of the Middle East Peace Process to support the building of a Palestinian nation that encourages economic and social development that benefits the poor. DFID's support includes technical assistance to increase Palestinian capacity to negotiate with the Israelis on economic and other issues. Monitoring of initiatives by DFID and the Palestinian Authority have confirmed that this assistance is having a worthwhile impact. However, economic and social benefits are being eroded by the continuing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. In a recent report the Office of the United Nations Special Co-ordinator has estimated that the confrontations, mobility restrictions and border closures are costing the Palestinian economy at least US$8 million per day.