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$1 million package for Occupied Territories

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade


23 September 2005
Media statement

$1 million package for Occupied Territories


New Zealand will provide a $1 million assistance package to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in support of the peace process and humanitarian needs, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

“NZAID, the government’s aid agency, will contribute $500,000 to the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Relief Appeal and $500,000 to the Public Financial Management Reform Trust Fund for the West Bank and Gaza, through the World Bank," Mr Goff said.

"This contribution will be alongside, and in support of, intensified efforts by the quartet (UN, US, EU, Russia) to assist Palestinian economic regeneration and governance reform which was endorsed by the G8.

“New Zealand also contributes $300,000 a year for basic education, health, and social services to more than four million registered Palestinian refugees.

“We are encouraged by recent developments in the Arab-Israeli conflict and we strongly support the Road Map peace process, which is a two-state solution involving two sovereign states living side by side.

“The recently approved aid contributions are a reflection of New Zealand’s wish to directly support the development of a viable Palestinian State.

“During my recent meeting with the new Israeli Ambassador I endorsed Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Peninsula and parts of the West Bank as a step forward towards peace. However enormous challenge lie ahead in ensuring a durable peace process and a sustainable livelihood and future for Gaza’s 1.4 million Palestinians.

“The Palestinians must be helped to restore good governance, central authority and essential services to engage in constructive negotiations towards a final settlement based on Israel and a Palestinian state.

“There are also urgent structural, governance, economic and health needs to be addressed. Nearly half the Palestinian population lives below the official poverty line of US$2 per day and almost 10 percent of children are chronically malnourished,” Mr Goff said.

ENDS

All Phil Goff’s media releases and speeches are posted at www.beehive.govt.nz

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