Palestinians: Overseas Aid

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 17th November 2020.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the 2019-20 Memorandum of Understanding between the Department for International Development and the Palestinian Authority, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the steps taken by the Palestinian Authority to ensure that UK Official Development Assistance funding was not used to cover payments made to prisoners or their families.

Photo of James Cleverly James Cleverly Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

No UK Aid is used for payments to prisoners or their families. Our financial support to the Palestinian Authority (PA) health and education sectors goes into a dedicated bank account and is only paid to individual workers who have been carefully vetted through the PEGASE mechanism (Palestinian-European Socio-Economic Management Assistance Mechanism). Each payment is independently audited to ensure it has been received by the intended recipient. This rigorous process means we are confident no UK aid is being diverted.

Our partnership with the PA is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding and our 'partnership principles'. We continue to judge that the PA is demonstrating a credible commitment to Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's partnership principles. Our partnership works to improve the lives of Palestinians and support the UK's commitment to maintain the viability of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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