Today I announce that the Australian Government has discontinued funding to the World Bank’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Palestinian Recovery and Development Program.

I wrote to the Palestinian Authority (PA) on 29 May, to seek clear assurance that Australian funding is not being used to assist Palestinians convicted of politically motivated violence.

I am confident that previous Australian funding to the PA through the World Bank has been used as intended. However, I am concerned that in providing funds for this aspect of the PA’s operations there is an opportunity for it to use its own budget to activities that Australia would never support.

Any assistance provided by the Palestine Liberation Organisation to those convicted of politically motivated violence is an affront to Australian values, and undermines the prospect of meaningful peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Australian Government remains committed to supporting vulnerable Palestinians with access to basic services, including health care, food, water, improved sanitation and shelter. We will now direct our $10 million allocation to the United Nations’ Humanitarian Fund for the Palestinian Territories which supports these services.

The United Nations’ Humanitarian Fund helps 1.9 million people. Approximately 75 per cent of its funding will be spent in Gaza where the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate.

The Australian Government has informed the PA and the World Bank of our decision.

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