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Palestinians: Overseas Aid

Department for International Development written question – answered on 21st December 2018.

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Photo of Sammy Wilson Sammy Wilson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department has investigated allegations that UK aid has been used to purchase school books encouraging Palestinian children to sacrifice their lives in the name of religion.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

No UK aid is used to fund the purchasing of school textbooks in the OPTs. UK aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is used exclusively to pay the salaries of teachers, doctors and other public servants working in the health and education sectors. Our money goes into a special, dedicated bank account before being paid to individuals who have been vetted in advance. Independent auditors then check that the money paid out of the UK dedicated bank account goes only to these vetted individuals after every disbursement.

The UK government is deeply concerned about the findings of a report into the PA’s new curriculum conducted by IMPACT-se. It is a priority for DFID to commission an independent review of the PA’s textbooks. We are also continuing to raise our concerns about incitement, which I did myself at a meeting with the Palestinian Education Minister earlier this year. Earlier this month, DFID officials met the PA Education Minister and raised UK concerns over specific examples in the textbooks.

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