Joan Ryan welcomes new UK aid to support Palestinian economic development

LFI chair Joan Ryan MP welcomed the announcement of a new UK aid programme to support Palestinian economic development in Gaza and the West Bank.

She said “the humanitarian situation for the people of Gaza is particularly desperate and deeply concerning, with electricity supplies highly restricted; water and sewage facilities under strain; and rising unemployment throughout the coastal enclave.

“The long-term solution to Gaza’s problems is the cessation of Hamas’s rule and the return of Gaza to the full authority of the Palestinian Authority, and ultimately, a negotiated two-state solution for two peoples. However, in the short to medium term, there are steps the international community and Israel can take to ease the plight of the people of Gaza.

“One especially important step, as myself and Labour Friends of Israel have repeatedly called for, including in our recent Pledge for Gaza, is supporting Gaza’s economic revitalisation. I was therefore pleased to see that part of the UK’s new aid programme will include assist the construction of the Gaza Central Desalination Plant and financing the installation of solar panels for households, businesses, hospitals and public buildings. I am convinced that these actions will go some way in improving the situation for the people of Gaza and wholeheartedly welcome this development.”