U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Since the signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993 and the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1994, the U.S. Government has committed over 3.5 billion in bilateral assistance to the Palestinians. Since the death of Yasser Arafat in November 2004, U.S. assistance to the Palestinians has been averaging about 400 million a year. During the 1990s, U.S. foreign aid to the Palestinians averaged 75 million per year. Despite more robust levels of assistance this decade, Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Hamass heightened role in Palestinian politics have made it more difficult to implement effective and lasting aid projects that serve U.S. interests. U.S. aid to the Palestinians has fluctuated considerably over the past 5 years, largely due to Hamass changing role within the Palestinian Authority PA. After Hamas led the PA government for over a year, its forcible takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007 led to the creation of a non-Hamas government in the West Bank, resulting in different models of governance for the two Palestinian territories. Since then, the United States has dramatically boosted aid levels to bolster the PA in the West Bank and President Mahmoud Abbas vis-a-vis Hamas. The United States has appropriated nearly 2 billion since 2007 in support of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyads security, governance, development, and reform programs, including 650 million for direct budgetary assistance to the PA and nearly 400 million for strengthening and reforming PA security forces and criminal justice systems in the West Bank. The remainder is for programs administered by the USAID and implemented by nongovernmental organizations in humanitarian assistance, economic development, democratic reform, water access and other infrastructure, health care, education, and vocational training. In December 2009, Congress approved 500 million in total FY2010 assistance pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010.
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