World Bulletin / News Desk
Arab states agreed to provide the Palestinian Authority with a $100 million monthly "financial safety net" to help President Mahmoud Abbas's government cope with an economic crisis after Israel siezed tax money of Palestine.
In a statement on Sunday after a meeting in Doha, Arab foreign ministers called for the immediate implementation of a resolution passed at an Arab summit in Baghdad in March, which called for the provision of a $100 million monthly safety net.
The statement did not give details of how the money would be paid or who would pay, but Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby said a mechanism has been agreed.
"The mechanism is that the chair of the committee (Qatar) and the secretary-general will contact each country with the exact amount they have to pay," Elaraby told Reuters after the meeting. "I said I want an answer in 15 days," he added.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund said in September that a gathering crisis in the Palestinian economy would worsen unless foreign funding increased and Israel eased long-standing curbs on development.
In a separate report, the World Bank also forecast a $1.5 billion Palestinian budget deficit for 2012, with donor funds expected to cover only $1.14 billion of this shortfall.
Last Thursday, the Palestinian cabinet said at a meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah that $240 million were needed every month to meet demands arising from the Israeli seizure customs revenues transfers and the failure of donors to transfer previously pledged funds.
The Arab ministers also called for convening of a donors' conference to discuss ways to support the Palestinian people in the West Bank and discuss reconstruction in the Gaza Strip.
Qatar's ruler, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, pledged $400 million to help develop Gaza during a visit there in October. But recent Israeli military offensive into Gaza has caused further destruction to the territory, requiring more funds for reconstruction.Last Mod: 10 Aralık 2012, 13:14