Arab League summit to discuss dire financial straits

League under-funded by 60 percent of its annual budget; most of its member states have not paid annual contributions.

arab league 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
arab league 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The Arab League is in dire financial straits because most of its 22 member states haven't paid all their annual contributions, said an internal report obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday. The League will hold its yearly summit this weekend in Damascus, and has listed a review of the financial situation high on its agenda, along with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Lebanon's presidential election standoff and the Iraqi crisis. According to the report prepared by Secretary General Amr Moussa, the League faces a US$22 million deficit, or about 60 percent of its annual budget. Member states have paid only 86 percent of their contributions due for 2006 and 2007, said the report, stating that members owed US$88 million in contribution arrears. The League's annual budget runs at about US$36 million, with most of the contributions coming from oil-rich countries likes Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. But the report showed that some wealthy Gulf countries such as Qatar and Kuwait have reservations on their share of the budget - despite a boom in oil prices that has generated billions of dollars of additional revenues - while poor nations like Somalia and Djibouti can't afford to pay their due.