Office of the Spokesman
July 16, 2007
U.S. Commitment to the Palestinian People
As President George W. Bush noted in his July 16 speech, we are strengthening our commitment to the Palestinian people and the government led by President Abbas and Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad. On June 20, shortly after Prime Minister Fayyad formed a new Palestinian government committed to the Quartet principles, we lifted financial restrictions on transactions with that new government.
In addition, the United States’ own commitment to the Palestinian people remains strong. In the current fiscal year (FY07):
*We are providing $144 million in food assistance, education, health, and social services this year for Palestinians registered with UNRWA in the
West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.
*We are providing $50 million in assistance for Palestinian basic human needs, democracy and civil society, and private sector development through
USAID. These programs include a contribution to the World Food Program
which has provided essential food commodities to 300,000 Palestinians over
the last ten months, and emergency water and sanitation repairs which have
affected 10% of the Palestinian population. This is in addition to nearly
$130 million in ongoing USAID programs.
*On July 10, the President authorized the Overseas Private Investment
Corporation to support a program that will help generate $228 million in
lending to Palestinian small and medium enterprises.
*We are also providing P.L. 480 Food Aid for Palestinians this year.
On security, today the President announced our intention to reorient 80 million dollars as a direct contribution to help reform the legitimate security services of the Palestinian Authority a vital effort they are undertaking with the guidance of U.S. General Keith Dayton.
Finally, we are strengthening our commitment to helping build the institutions of a Palestinian state. Last month, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed to take on a new role as Quartet Representative. In this post, he will
coordinate international efforts to help the Palestinians establish the institutions of a strong and lasting free society including effective governing structures, a sound financial system, and the rule of law. The
President also called for a meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee of donors to advance these efforts. We will work with Congress and partners around the
world to provide additional resources once a plan to build Palestinian institutions is in place.
Released on July 16, 2007