European Commission pledges 436 million euros in Gaza aid

Other News Materials 2 March 2009 17:45 (UTC +04:00)

The European Commission on Monday pledged 436 million euros (554 million dollars) in aid to the Palestinian people at a donors conference in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm al-Sheikh.

The European pledge of 436 million euros, added to the 1 billion dollars from Saudi Arabia, 900 million from the United States, 250 million dollars from Qatar and 200 million dollars each from Japan and Kuwait, brought the total pledges to well over the 2.8 billion dollars that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had requested.

"Our priority today is to adequately respond to the disastrous humanitarian situation in Gaza," European Commissioner for External Affairs Benita Ferrero-Waldner said.

"But the crucial problem at the moment is not related to funding but to access," she added. "In the aftermath of the crisis, a clear priority remains the immediate and unconditional opening of all Gaza crossings."