EU and PA launched Assistance to Agriculture programs
BETHLEHEM - The European Union (EU) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) launched the Assistance to Agriculture programs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in a ceremony organized in Bethlehem, according to an EU press release.
The ceremony was attended by Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, Deputy EU Representative, Tomas Niklasson, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Palestinian Agriculture Risk Reduction and Insurance Fund and a large group of Palestinian farmers benefiting from the assistance.
The Assistance to Agriculture programs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip work with farmers and agribusinesses that have been directly affected by the Israeli occupation. This support will help around 900 farmers to restart, repair or replace their damaged businesses.
The financial support allocated by the EU to the Assistance to Agriculture in the West Bank and Gaza Strip amounts to 17.5 million euros. The program benefits around 900 farmers in the West Bank and Gaza. In the West Bank, the program focuses on agribusiness located in Area C, which is under full Israeli military control, while focusing on private sector reconstruction in Gaza.
The EU works with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Palestinian Agriculture Risk Reduction and Insurance Fund to implement this program, said the press release. The payments are made by the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Finance and Planning through a network of local banks in the West Bank.
"The EU and the Palestinian Authority work together in the agricultural sector to support farmers in Palestine to resume and sustain their economic activities. The EU support covers reconstruction, repair, and replacement of damaged capital equipment that resulted from the practices of the Israeli occupation. This is much needed to empower the agricultural sector and secure its development and growth," said the Deputy EU Representative, Tomas Niklasson at the launching ceremony.
"This sector is one of the backbones of our support to Palestinian development and resilience. It demonstrates in concrete terms our commitment to the building of a future Palestinian State and the vision of the two-state solution," he added.