The Ad Hoc Liaison Comm., the main policy-level coordination mechanism for development assistance to the Palestinians, convened on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York on 9/18. Hosted by UN undersecy.- gen. Jeffrey Feltman, the attendees included representatives from the PA, Israel, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the Middle East Quartet, as well as UN Special Coordinator Mladenov. In conclusion, the meeting’s chair and Norwegian FM Børge Brende called for “concerted action” in 3 key areas: fiscal sustainability, economic development, and reconstruction and recovery efforts in Gaza. He also specifically welcomed the Egyptian govt.’s efforts to facilitate the return of the PA to Gaza (see “Intra-Palestinian Dynamics” above).
There were announcements of new international aid allocations to the Palestinians throughout the quarter, but no major increase in associated dollar amounts. The biggest came on 8/17, when a Palestinian official said that the UAE and a number of other donor countries had agreed to provide $15 m. per mo. to fund projects improving humanitarian conditions in Gaza. He said that the money would be administered by a new body, known as the Palestinian Joint Liability Comm., under Egyptian supervision, and that the comm. was established in the wake of the agreement between Hamas and exiled Fatah leader Dahlan in 6/2017 (see JPS 47 ). Separately, Saudi Arabia transferred (8/21) $30.8 m. to the PA to cover its monthly aid obligations from 4/2017 to 7/2017. The EU made its quarterly payment of €20 m. (approx. $23.4 m.) to the PA to impoverished families in the oPt. UN secy.-gen. Guterres released (8/30) $4 m. from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund to support ongoing UN operations in Gaza. Japan agreed to give $3.2 m. (10/9) to the World Food Program projects in Gaza and $1 m. (10/5) for the construction of 2 waste disposal stations in the West Bank.
As in previous quarters, many announcements of new aid for the Palestinians came via UNRWA. The U.S. made (8/18) its annual pledge of $2 m. to the agency. The Kuwaiti amb. to Jordan handed over (8/18) a check worth $200,000, fulfilling a pledge made on 5/21/2017. The development arm of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Fund for International Development) committed (9/13) $1 m. to UNRWA’s education system in East Jerusalem. The EU agreed to provide (10/10) €9.5 m. (approx. $11.1 m.) as an emergency supplement to its €82 m. (approx. $99 m.) pledge for the agency’s core programs earlier this year. Austria contributed (9/22) €1.5 m. (approx. $1.8 m.) to support the agency’s health programs in the oPt. Japan gave approx. $10.2 m. (9/27) to a variety of programs across the oPt and $3 m. (9/8) to the agency’s humanitarian response efforts following the clashes in Lebanon’s ‘Ayn al-Hilweh r.c. (see “Lebanon” above). Finally, the UK-based Al-Khair Foundation donated (11/13) $40,000 to fund psychosocial activities for individuals traumatized by the 3 Israeli assaults on Gaza since 2008.