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Europe

EU Provides More Aid to Palestinian Authority

The European Union is helping the Palestinian Authority pay for public sector wages and pensions by providing it with an extra 40 million euros ($60 million) in aid, officials in Brussels said Wednesday.

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU Commissioner for External Relations

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU Commissioner for External Relations, announced the extra aid

The money, which was requested by the cash-strapped office run by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, comes on top of 440 million euros in aid pledged by the bloc at a donors conference in Paris in December.

"Today we are strengthening our commitment by adding 40 million euros to help the Palestinian Authority overcome the financial difficulties it is facing," said EU external affairs commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

The additional funds are to come from the EU's budget and will also be used to support vulnerable Palestinian families and pay for fuel for the power plant that provides electricity to the people living in Gaza.

EU officials urged other donors to also fulfill the pledges they made in Paris.

"I hope that other donors will continue to make every effort to fulfill their pledges or even go beyond, as we do today," Ferrero-Waldner said.

"If not, the situation of the Palestinian Authority will continue to be precarious," she warned.

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