Support to the Palestinian Cash Transfer Programme
The Palestinian Cash Transfer Programme (CTP) provides quarterly cash assistance to some 108,000 poor and vulnerable families in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It is part of the social protection system managed by the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD).
PEGASE supports the Palestinian Authority (PA) as the duty bearer to deliver basic social protection in a predictable and regular way. Over the period 2008-2018, the EU and EU Member States contributed €478.2 million to the CTP through PEGASE.
In 2018, the PA allocated ILS 480 million (€113.9 million) to the CTP. The EU and Member States contributed to 50% of the allowances, the World Bank 5% and the rest was covered by the PA (source: CTP payment report 2018 and CTP Global Assessment 2018).
In 2018, the total CTP database amounted to 116,727 families. An additional 7,000 families are on the waiting list. However, considering budget prioritisation and availability from the Ministry of Finance and Planning (MoFP), cash allowances were paid to the poorest and most vulnerable CTP families (average of 108,000 in 2018) - including 45,400 female-headed households, 35,000 elderly-headed households and 19,000 households headed by People with Disabilities (source MoSD 2018). On average, 66% of the beneciary families live in the Gaza Strip and 34% in the West Bank (source MoSD 2018).
CTP beneciaries are selected according to a consumption-based proxy means test formula (monetary and assets related criteria) that estimates a poverty score to each applicant household. Social workers of the Ministry Regional Directorates are in charge of regular updates of the family records and eligibility re-certication. A complaint mechanism is also in place.
Eligible households receive a monthly allowance of between ILS 250 to ILS 600 paid on a quarterly basis. The annual average family allowance is ILS 4,600 (€1,106). Families are also entitled to other state-provided assistance, including free health insurance from Ministry of Health, food assistance, and school fee waivers from Ministry of Education. The CTP contributes to protecting beneciaries' livelihoods by maintaining household consumption and covering basic needs according to the 2017 World Bank impact evaluation of the CTP but is not enough to graduate them out of poverty.
PEGASE Payment Mechanism
The implementing arrangements for EU/Member State contributions to the CTP through PEGASE are set out in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the EU and the Ministry of Finance and Planning (MoFP). This MoU details the nancial mechanism and the payment system for the disbursement of funds.
In December 2010, a sub-account of the Single Treasury Account of the PA was opened specically for PEGASE nancial contributions to the programme.
All PEGASE beneciaries are screened against international sanctions lists through specialised software which encompasses hundreds of lists published by dozens of dierent countries and International Organisations, including the EU, American and Israeli institutions, EU Member States, the International Criminal Court and Interpol.
These safeguards are implemented under the continuous supervision of a team of independent contractors, including auditors who perform ex-ante and ex-post verication for each payment, in addition to annual nancial audits and regular evaluations. The EU issues annual nancial reports for contributions made under PEGASE to all participating donors. The auditors regularly perform a global assessment of the CTP to identify and certify the overall population of potential PEGASE eligible beneciaries. The auditors' main tasks consist in: (i) identifyingand validating the processes, risks and controls put in place by MoSD to assess the soundness and reliability of the information included in the CTP database, including the correctness of the amount of the CTP beneciaries' allowances, (ii) verifying a sample of beneciaries' les, (iii) performing eld visits to a sample of beneciaries, (iv) conrming bank details, and (v) validating IT controls over information system and database. The 2018 PEGASE global assessment identied 87,525 eligible PEGASE beneciaries, so-called 'reference population', consisting of 21,856 in the West Bank and 65,669 in the Gaza Strip. This corresponds to a total allowance of ILS 104,863,956 per quarterly payment. It is to be noted that PEGASE pays only a portion of the PEGASE beneciary's allowances.
For each payment, once the ex-ante verication and screening are nalised (process of 5 weeks duration), the authorisation to pay is given to MoFP. Beneciaries are notied by MoSD on the date of the payment of the allowances, which is also advertised in the media. Allowances are paid to the beneciary's bank account or, in Gaza only, over the bank counter.