Foreign Aid to the Palestinian Authority
Following the signing of the Oslo Accord in September 1993, the U.S. government provided $375 million between 1993 and 1998 through USAID to implement a development program in the West Bank and Gaza.
In 1999, USAID West Bank & Gaza's budget was $75 million. In 2000 its level increased to $85 million. In 2000, the Congress approved an additional $400 million to add to the USAID West Bank and Gaza program to facilitate implementation of the Wye River Accords.
In 2001, USAID West Bank/Gaza's program budget remained at $85 million. In 2002 and 2003, USAID received $75 million from Congress for its program. In addition, in May of 2003, the Congress approved an additional $50 million of supplemental funds. These funds went directly toward improving Palestinian lives: rebuilding infrastructure, creating jobs, and reinvigorating the Palestinian economy.
Since October 2000, more than $200 million of the above amount has been directed toward emergency and humanitarian assistance, which includes providing immediate aid in the areas of water, health, food, and employment, and for the repair of basic municipal infrastructure.
Using the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Planning comparative data, the U.S. is the largest bilateral donor in the West Bank and Gaza.
Until recently, the U.S. provided no cash to the Palestinian Authority (PA), or to any officials, ministries, agencies or instrumentalities of the PA. U.S. law specifically prohibits cash assistance to the PA. However, on July 16, 2003, the United States, by invoking special Presidential waiver authority, for the first time ever and in recognition of important progress in the reform of Palestinian institutions, signed an agreement with the Palestinian Authority authorizing a $20 million cash transfer for the purpose of maintaining municipal water, sewage and electrical services and providing for PA directed municipal infrastructure development. All other assistance to the PA takes the form of in-kind assistance (training, technical assistance, equipment, etc.) rather than cash.
USAID/WBG provides "in-kind" assistance to some Palestinian Authority agencies — for example, technical assistance, training, office equipment, medical supplies and the construction of infrastructure facilities, such as water wells, pipelines, and schools. All of this in-kind assistance is targeted to specific development objectives, and is carefully monitored to ensure that no assistance is diverted to other uses.
U.S. law prohibits transactions with, and the provision of resources and support to, individuals and organizations associated with terrorism. USAID/WBG ensures compliance with this prohibition in several ways. First, before awarding any contract or grant to an organization, USAID/WBG reviews the list of designated individuals and organizations involved with terrorism, to ensure that the organization under consideration has not been so designated. Second, the U.S. Government reviews the organization and its key personnel for possible associations with terrorist organizations. Third, every contract and grant awarded by USAID includes a clause reminding the recipient of its legal obligation to comply with the prohibition stated above. These three measures offer a high degree of confidence that no USAID/WBG assistance is being provided to individuals or organizations involved in terrorism.
Program Budget by Strategic Area
($ in thousands)