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European Union can act to ease humanitarian concerns in Palestine

31 May, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today said that the European Union has the potential to help ease the current despair in Palestine.

Ms de Brún made her comments after the European Parliament decided to include voting time tomorrow (01.06.06) on motions for the resolution of the humanitarian crisis in Palestine.

Speaking from Brussels Ms de Brún said:


“I am pleased that the European Parliament has decided to set aside voting time dedicated to the humanitarian crisis in Palestine. It is no coincidence that since the European Commission and the United States froze payment to the Palestinian Authority, over this past number of months it has become increasingly clear that the situation within the Palestinian territories has been deteriorating rapidly.


“The European Commission and individual member states are the biggest financial contributors to the Authority with over 500 million euro every year since 2003. As far back as January 2006, upon my return from Palestine as an election observer I warned of the serious consequences should the EU withhold funding following the Hamas election victory.


“Recent reports emanating from aid agencies working in Palestine suggest that tens of thousands of public service workers have still to be paid after nearly three months, essential services are beginning to come under severe strain and food and medicine shortages have been reported in the region.


“The European Commission must now act immediately to restore funding immediately to the Palestinian Authority. The European Union and indeed all of the financial contributors to the Authority need to recognize that the people are suffering whilst others sit on their hands.” ENDS

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