EU offers $17.3 mn in aid to Iraq, Palestine

December 24th, 2008 - 3:22 am ICT by IANS  

Brussels, Dec 24 (DPA) The the European Commission, executive arm of the European Union (EU), Tuesday pledged food aid totalling 12.4 million euros ($17.3 million) to vulnerable Iraqis and Palestinians hard hit by rising food prices.The pledge, which comes in response to an appeal from the UN, is intended to support up to 1.9 million poor and needy people in the two countries, a statement from the commission said.

It brings the total amount of aid the commission has donated to the two countries since 2006 to over 270 million euros.

Commission officials stressed that the EU would continue to support humanitarian causes in the Middle East despite the grave financial crisis now hitting Europe.

“In these times of price increases and gloomy economic perspectives, (Iraqis and Palestinians) can count on the solidarity of European citizens,” EU Aid Commissioner Louis Michel said.

The funds will be channelled into projects run by the Red Cross and Red Crescent, UN agencies and non-governmental organisations, the commission statement said.

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