PA seeks to multiply foreign aid

Planning minister says W. Bank gov't to request $5.5 billion for 2008-2010; funds allocated for Gaza too.

UNRWA 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
UNRWA 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank will ask donor countries for $5.5 billion in aid for 2008-2010, or nearly double the current annual amount, the Palestinian planning minister said Sunday. Donor countries are to meet in Paris on December 17 to discuss the level of aid to moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Donors hoping to build on last week's Annapolis conference, are expected to provide generous support to the Palestinians, said Planning Minister Samir Abdullah. "The important success that was achieved in Annapolis will create a positive atmosphere in Paris," he said. He said 70 percent of the money would go for budget support and 30 percent for development projects. He said money would be spent not only in the West Bank, which is controlled by Abbas, but also in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. The plan is to be presented to the Palestinian government on Monday. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will also see the proposal this week, before it is presented in Paris, Abdullah said. He said drafts were already shown to donor countries, and that the Palestinian Authority received a positive response. "They say it's ambitious, but also realistic," Abdullah said.