Palestinians seek $5.5 billion from donor countries for 2008-2010

The Palestinian government in the West Bank will ask donor countries for $5.5 billion (€3.7 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 Dec. 17 to discuss the level of aid to moderate Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Donors hoping to build on last week's Mideast peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland, are expected to provide generous support to the Palestinians, said Planning Minister Samir Abdullah. He said 70 percent of the money would go for budget support and 30 percent for development projects.