Press Notice 39, Session 2002/03

Development Assistance and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

The International Development Committee agreed to conduct an inquiry - announced in a press notice dated 5 June 2003 (PN34.2002/03) - on Development Assistance and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Committee is pleased to announce that the following evidence session has now been arranged:

Date and venue: Tuesday 16 September, Palace of Westminster

Time: 2.30 p.m.

Witnesses:

At 2.30 p.m. DFID officials: Carolyn Miller, Director, Europe, Middle East and Americas Division; Alistair Fernie, Head, Middle East and North Africa Department; and Martin Rapley, Programme Manager

At 3.30 p.m. European Commission: Mr Alan Seatter, Head of Unit F3 - Near East, Directorate General for External Relations,  European Commission

Those wishing to attend this evidence session should contact the Committee Office Information Line on 020 7 219 2033 to confirm the venue the day before the hearing.

The Committee intends to visit the occupied Palestinian territories in October and will hold further oral evidence sessions in November. Details will be announced in due course.

During the inquiry, the Committee will be particularly considering the following issues:

1. The effectiveness of aid from UK and EU sources on Palestinian poverty levels, how it is targeted and what could be done to prevent it from being wasted or destroyed.

2.  The impact on Palestinian trade, employment and economic development of customs duties and taxes, and controls on the movement of goods and people at Israeli ports and airports and points of entry to the West Bank and Gaza.

3. The impact of the wall of separation for Palestinian farmers and for employment, movement of people and delivery of humanitarian assistance.

4.  The control that the network of settlements in the occupied territories have over the basic conditions for the development of the Palestinian economy: agricultural land, water, movement of persons and goods, environmental impacts.

5. The accountability of Palestinian government institutions and the technical capacities of the public and private sectors to build an autonomous and viable economy.

6. The role of civil society, including NGOs, in ensuring a broad popular participation in the development of Palestinian society.

7.  Priorities for UK aid through bilateral and multilateral channels to strengthen the infrastructure of Palestinian development.

8. The role of aid in supporting political solutions to the conflict.

9. Future development needs of a Palestinian state and the potential for its economic cooperation with Israel.

Detailed enquiries to Sarah Hartwell, Second Clerk, on 020 7219 0851 or   [email protected]