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Israel-Palestine: Humanitarian Impact Of Annapolis


Israel-occupied Palestinian Territories: The humanitarian impact of Annapolis

Whatever happens in the Annapolis Middle East peace conference will affect another crucial conference - of the key donors to the Palestinians - which is scheduled to take place in mid December in Paris.

"If there is a feeling of momentum from Annapolis, donors will want to get in on the success," said one person involved in development and humanitarian projects in the occupied Palestinian territories, noting this could be seen as the sign of a successful conference.

One issue sure to be raised in Paris is budget support to the Palestinian Authority (PA), which faces a huge deficit in 2008. If the donors are not convinced the sides are heading towards final status negotiations, donors are likely to be wary of investing heavily in the PA again.

Nicholas Pelham, from the International Crisis Group, told IRIN that without a strong PA and political progress on the horizon, institutional aid will in essence be nothing more than humanitarian aid. "You can't pour humanitarian aid at a political problem," he said.

Gaza

While Gaza, a humanitarian and political crisis, is sidelined for Annapolis, it is more likely to come up in Paris, officials within donor and donor coordination groups said.

Meanwhile, Tony Blair, the representative of the Quartet - made up of the USA, the European Union, Russia and the UN - announced, together with PA Prime Minister Dr Salam Fayyad and Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, the launching of some projects, including an agro-industrial park in Jericho and a north Gaza emergency sewage treatment project.

shg/ar/cb

ENDS

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