5.3 million euros from Sweden to help Palestinians

Sweden's foreign aid agency said Monday it will give 50 million kronor ( Ђ 5.3 million, US$6.4 million) in humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The announcement follows an appeal by the United Nations for continued humanitarian support to aid efforts in the occupied Palestinian areas

Sida, the agency that distributes Swedish foreign aid, said in a press release that the aid will be channeled through the U.N. relief agency for Palestinians, UNRWA, the U.N. children's agency UNICEF and the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA. Israel branded the Palestinian government a "terrorist authority" Sunday and halted the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax money after Hamas took control of the Palestinian parliament.

The Palestinian Authority, which needs the money to meet its payroll each month, has warned of an economic crisis in the occupied areas following the Israeli decision, Sida said. The Swedish money will mainly go to health care, food and education, Sida said. Last year, Sida distributed 92 million kronor ( Ђ 9.8 million, US$11.7 million) in humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, reports the AP.


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