Obama pledges $400 million in aid to Gaza and the West Bank

Obama called the funding a "down payment on the United States' commitment to Palestinians in Gaza, who deserve a better life and expanded opportunities and the chance to take part in building a viable, independent state of Palestine, together with those who live in the West Bank."

The projects include: 

• $240 million for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation in the Affordable Mortgage and Loan Corporation program in the West Bank, designed to increase homeownership by offering long-term mortgages at fixed and variable rates. 

• $75 million through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to improve infrastructure throughout the area. 

• $10 million for USAID to improve private sector competitiveness. 

• $40 million for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency's (UNRWA) Emergency Appeal for Gaza and the West Bank, to help improve educational and health services, increase job creation and repair shelters in Gaza while addressing humanitarian needs in the West Bank. 

• $14.5 million for USAID projects for school rehabilitation, small-scale agriculture and for the repair of hospitals and other infrastructure.  

• $10 million for the construction of five new UNRWA schools in Gaza.

• $5 million to start nine USAID-funded projects to repair water distribution and wastewater collection systems in Gaza.