Donors urged to help Palestinians (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 03/21/12)
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Donor nations were under new pressure Wednesday to honour a $1
billion aid pledge to the Palestinians, as the prime minister warned
that a fiscal crisis was threatening the government.
Salam Fayyad called for a "greater effort" to help the Palestinian
Authority bridge a budget gap, stressing that its ability to provide
services to its people and "continue to function... has been impaired
"The viability of the Palestinian Authority before we even become a
state is really at stake, and it´s in a great deal of jeopardy,"
Fayyad told reporters after a meeting of donor countries in Brussels.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, who chairs the so-called
Ad Hoc Liaison Committee of donor nations, called on countries to
redouble their efforts and urged Israel to lift restrictions on the
"We have sounded a clarion call that the financial situation of the
Palestinian Authority is today in a critical state for two reasons,"
Store told reporters.
"One, that the growth potential of the Palestinian economy is limited
by the occupation (and) limited access to key areas of the
Palestinian territory," he said.
"And also that donors in the financial crisis and for other reasons
are not fully living up to the pledges and the expectations," Store
A summary issued by the chairman after the committee meeting called
on countries to ensure they provide the $1 billion (760 million
euros) the Palestinians need for 2012.
The text said the crisis threatens to become protracted due to a
decline in donor assistance but that nations recognised that the
Palestinian Authority cannot slash its deficit on its own.
"Therefore, in the short-term, it is imperative that additional donor
funding be identified and transferred immediately to reverse the
crisis before it becomes totally unmanageable," the summary said.
The International Monetary Fund had urged donor countries Saturday to
honour their promises to the Palestinian Authority, warning that its
economy was entering a "difficult phase" and could further
In a report prepared for the donors´ meeting, the IMF estimated a
financing gap of about $500 million.
A drop in liquid assets has worsened due to a reduction in aid from
Western and Gulf countries, as well as trade and movement
restrictions imposed by Israel, it said. (Copyright © 2012 Agence
France Presse. 03/21/12)
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