Jakarta: The UAE offered $4.2 billion (about Dh15 billion) in support of the Palestinian Cause from 1994 up to middle of 2008, including $300 million pledged through the donor conference in Paris, according to UAE Ambassador to Indonesia.
Yousuf Sharhan told the Ministerial Conference on Capacity Building for Palestine in Jakarta that the UAE had recently pledged $43 million in annual support for the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).
"The UAE stands ready to offer different kinds of assistance to [PNA] to enable it develop the Palestinian economy and improve living standard of the Palestinian people," Sharhan said in an address to the conference.
The conference was organised by Indonesia and South Africa as co-chairs of the ambitious New Asian-African Strategic Partnership.
More than 200 officials from 53 countries and international organisations attended the Jakarta meeting to hear from PNA on capacity building and development project needs.
"Capacity building is vital for any people to live and develop but how can capacity of Palestinian people be built while reeling under Israeli occupation," Sharhan asked.
Empowerment of people
"Building Palestinian capacity simply requires empowerment of people there to achieve their political independence so as to carry out any capacity building programmes under a legitimate government.
"Before doing that, Palestinians need basic sources of human living to pursue their life ... capacity can't be built without taking care of psychological and physical health being of the Palestinian people," the UAE Ambassador to Indonesia said, noting that "Palestinians have no more confidence in dealing with the international community which adopts double standards policy."
"The UAE will back every possible effort for building capacity of Palestinian people but the start should be from building health and educational capacities," he said.
Sharhan appealed to the UN and other international organisations to lend proper care to building capacity programmes in Palestine to enable it overcome obstacles thrown by Israel and synergise all these operations in one international assistance fund.
The Ministerial Conference on Capacity Building for Palestine, held under the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership framework, follows last year's Annapolis conference in the United States and donor conference in Paris that respectively dealt with the political and economic aspects of the decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict.