20 June 2006

Middle East Quartet Endorses Mechanism for Channelling Aid to Palestinians

NEW YORK, 19 June (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued on 17 June, on behalf of the Middle East Quartet (United Nations, United States, European Union, Russian Federation), on Palestinian funding mechanism:

Recalling its statements of 30 January and 9 May, and mindful of the needs of the Palestinian people, the Quartet endorsed a European Union proposal for a temporary international mechanism, limited in scope and duration, which operates with full transparency and accountability.  The mechanism facilitates needs-based assistance directly to the Palestinian people, including essential equipment, supplies, and support for health services, support for the uninterrupted supply of fuel and utilities, and basic needs allowances to poor Palestinians.

The Quartet expressed its hope that other donors, international organizations, and the State of Israel would consider participation in this mechanism.  The Quartet will review the continued need for such a mechanism after three months.  Donors are also encouraged to respond to humanitarian and other assistance requests by international organizations, especially United Nations agencies, active in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Quartet reiterated its call for the Palestinian Authority Government to commit to the principles of non-violence, recognition of Israel and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Road Map.  The Palestinian Authority Government must fulfil its responsibilities with respect to basic human needs, including health services, as well as for proper fiscal management and provision of services.

* *** *