Germany allocated 55 million euros to be dispersed to Palestinian development projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2019, Klaus Kramer, Head of Division in the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, said on Tuesday.
He told reporters after holding two days of negotiations in Ramallah with various ministries in the Palestinian government that it was agreed that the money will go to mainly three sectors: sustainable economic development, infrastructure such as water projects and local governance including projects with municipalities.
While the funds in form of grants will go mainly to these three areas, which are government-run projects, other development projects in other fields will also get part of the money, such as projects carried out by civil society organizations.
“The most important assistance this year will go to vocational training,” said Kramer, which he said was important for capacity building of Palestinians.
He also said that Germany is going to get more active this year in the Gaza Strip, which is going to get 40% of the total allocations, due to its severe humanitarian situation.
Most of the Gaza projects are in infrastructure, mainly treatment of wastewater and sewage.
“Germany wants to continue to contribute to stability in living conditions for the people in the Palestinian territory,” said Christian Clages, German Representative to the Palestinian Authority.
Germany has proven for over 30 years that it is a reliable partner to be depended on even in the most difficult times, he said, adding that “people in Gaza and the West Bank can also rely on that in the future.”
He said that the strategic goal of the German-Palestinian Development Cooperation is to facilitate building the Palestinian state based on a negotiated two-state solution.
Overall German aid to Palestine has reached 1.15 billion euros and last year’s contribution amounted to 53 million euros.
In addition, Germany doubled this year its contribution to the financially-strapped United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) after the United States has stopped all funding to the humanitarian organization.
Germany also contributes to 20% of the European Union’s assistance to the Palestinian people.