Int'l donors agree to provide PA more financial aid

Jerusalem attorney lobbies European Union to condition Palestinian assistance on improving human rights.

By TOVAH LAZAROFF IN BRUSSEL
March 22, 2012 21:52
1 minute read.
Palestinian Authority PM Salam Fayyad

Palestinian Authority PM Salam Fayyad 390 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)

 
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The Palestinian Authority on Thursday hailed a decision by international donors to provide financial aid to the Palestinians as “important,” but urged the countries to channel the promised funds immediately.

Representatives of international donors met in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss the financial crisis in the PA.

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At the end of the meeting, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere urged the donors “to ensure the contribution of $1 billion in assistance [to the PA] in 2012.”

He also urged Israel to facilitate the transfer of tax revenues belonging to the PA.

The global economic slowdown has created a $1b. deficit in the PA’s budget, the donors’ “Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee on Palestine” said after the meeting.

It noted that at the beginning of this year, the PA “experienced a severe fiscal crisis, which threatens to become protracted given the recent and projected declines in donor assistance” and the situation could soon be “totally unmanageable.”

The committee appealed to Israel to “ensure monthly transfers to the PA in a predictable manner.”



PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad described the donor countries’ decision as important, but stressed the need to transfer the promised funds quickly to help the PA government overcome the financial crisis.

Fayyad said that it was also important that Arab countries fulfill their financial obligations toward the Palestinians.

He denied that the donors had conditioned continued financial aid to the Palestinians on their abandoning efforts to unilaterally achieve UN recognition of a Palestinian state.

Fayyad, who attended the meeting in Brussels, complained that Israel was preventing the PA from carrying out a development plan in Area C of the West Bank, which is under exclusive Israeli control and constitutes nearly 60 percent of the land.

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