Arab states to provide $100 mln financial support to Palestinian Authority
Islamic Finance News
Distributed by Contify.com
December 11, 2012
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) speaks next to Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani during the Arab Peace Initiative Committee Meeting in Doha December 9, 2012. REUTERS
Doha: To enable Mahmoud Abbas-led Palestinian government tackle economic crisis, the Arab League has agreed to offer the Palestinian Authority a $100 million monthly “financial safety net” following the UN`s approval to accord de facto statehood to Palestine, reports Reuters.
Confirming this, the Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby revealed that the Arab foreign ministers have agreed to extend financial support to help Palestinian Authority to deal with the economic crisis.
A mechanism has been developed to raise the funds for Palestine, explained Elaraby without giving specific details about how the money will be paid or who will pay. The Arab League would contact its member states and fix exact amount for each member, he added.
Earlier, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund warned that without international funding support, the economic situation in Palestine may worsen. It may record a budgetary deficit of around $1.5 billion for 2012, the World Bank cautioned, reports Reuters.
© Copyright 2012. Contify.com
Arabs To Grant US$ 100 Million A Month To Palestine
IPR Strategic Information Database
December 11, 2012
According to ANBA: Ministers of countries in the Arab League agreed on Sunday (9), at a meeting in Doha, Qatar, to transfer some US$ 100 million a month to Palestine. The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) should use the funds to manage the budget deficit, maintain basic services and pay wages to civil servants. Although the transfer of funds to the Palestinians has already been agreed on, it is not clear how it will take place neither what country will contribute. According to the secretary general at the institution, Nabil Al Arabi, he and representatives of Qatar will meet with members of the governments of countries in the bloc to negotiate each one`s share. “I want an answer (regarding the value) in 15 days”, said Al Arabi, according to international news agencies.
Apart from Qatar, the Arab League also includes Algeria, Bahrain, the Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Syria has been suspended due to the conflicts in the country. The fund transfer to Palestine had already been forecasted in a resolution approved by the Arab League in March, in Baghdad, Iraq. It was decided, however, that the funds would be disbursed now as, after the United Nations (UN) Assembly General`s approval of participation of Palestine as an “observer state”, on November 29, the government of Israel announced the suspension of fund transfers regarding exports of Palestinian products. Palestine is living financial difficulties. PNA president Mahmoud Abbas has said that the state may “go bankrupt” if it cannot have access to money.
© 2012 IPR Strategic Business Information Database
Arabs offer Palestinians $100 mln a month “financial safety net”
December 09, 2012
DOHA, Dec 9 (Reuters) - 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 the United Nations granted de facto statehood to Palestine.
Israel has responded to the Nov. 29 U.N. vote by ordering 3,000 Jewish settler homes be built in the occupied West Bank and announced it would hold back payments of customs duties it collects on behalf of the Palestinians to pay an outstanding electricity bill.
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.
Israel and the United States opposed the U.N. General Assembly`s upgrade of the Palestinians` status to “non-member state”, saying Abbas should instead resume peace talks that collapsed in 2010 over Israeli settlement-building.
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 decision to stop customs revenues transfers and the failure of donors to transfer previously pledged funds.
The Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank and receives most of its aid from the United States, the European Union and Arab states.
But over the past several years there has been a shortfall in aid coming from Arab states resulting in the PA being unable to pay salaries to its 153,000 civil servants on time on several occasions. The administration has yet to pay November salaries following Israel`s decision to withhold money transfers.
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 fighting between Gaza`s Hamas rulers and Israel has caused further destruction to the territory, requiring more funds for reconstruction.
(Reporting by Regan Doherty; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Stephen Powell)
© 2012 Reuters Limited
IDB Seeks More Fund To Help Palestine People
Bernama Daily Malaysian News
June 21, 2005
The Islamic Development Bank (IDB), which has disbursed between US$750 million (US$1=RM3.80) and US$800 million to assist the grief-stricken Palestine people in the last four years, is seeking more funds from the Muslim world.
IDB president Ahmad Mohammad Ali said the targeted US$1 billion through the Al Aqsa and Al Quds funds were not sufficient as the financial needs in Palestine were much more greater now.
He said more funds are urgently needed, especially fron non-Arab members of the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) grouping in view of Israel`s planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank after a 37-year occupation.
“I am taking this opportunity to ask other OIC members to join this fund to help support Palestine people. The US$1 billion is not enough,” he said during the break of the IDB Board of Executive Directors meeting here today.
Al Aqsa and Al Quds funds were created by the Arab League at the Extraordinary Arab Summit held in October of 2000 to provide the Palestinian people with emergency aid to alleviate their suffering and to help rehabilitate their economy.
The two funds are managed by the Jeddah-based IDB, a financial arm of OIC.
Ahmad Mohammad said IDB would continue its support for Palestine Authority by financing projects for social, education, health, road and other infrastructure works.
According to reports, despite a substantial infusion of funds from many donors including from IDB and the Arab League mechanism for financial assistance to Palestine, the Palestinian economy has declined to less than half its 1999 strength.
A World Bank report estimated that real Gross National Income declined by 38 percent between 1999 and 2002. The proportion of poor in the West Bank and Gaza has tripled and 2.5 million of the population are living under the poverty line.
On IDB`s aid to Afghanistan, Ahmad Mohammad said IDB had provided SR 17.63 million (US$4.7 million) in financial aid to set up a women`s hostel at Kabul University.
It had allocated SR187.5 million (US$50 million) for the reconstruction of the war-torn country. -- BERNAMA
© 2005 Bernama - Malaysian National News Agency
OIC summit in Turkey: Yemen calls for increase of funds for Palestinians
BBC Monitoring European
June 14, 2004
Istanbul, 14 June: Yemen chairing the Supreme Council of the financial support mechanism for Palestine together with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) called on all members countries to the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to provide further funding support to the Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds funds on Monday [14 June].
Holding a news conference under the 31st Session of Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in Istanbul, Foreign Minister Dr. Abu-Baker Abdallah Al-Qirbi of Yemen called on all OIC-members to provide further funding support to the Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds funds.
“By May of 2004, total contributions to the two funds amounted to 728m US dollars. Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds have approved projects and programmes valued at 772m US dollars covering all vital sectors of economy with special emphasis on education, health, reconstruction of infrastructure and municipal facilities, agriculture, trade and industry and employment. In this framework, the funds provided a total of 480m US dollars direct budget support to provide basic public services such as electricity and water and salaries for teachers and health care workers,” he said.
Al-Qirbi noted: “The two funds have almost reached capacity yet the crisis to humanity in Palestine has reached extraordinary proportions. It is very important to us that the good work in Palestine continues. We must not give up, despite the destruction, reconstruction must occur. I urge all OIC members to pledge funds to Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds funds.
Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds funds were created by the Arab League at the Extraordinary Arab Summit held in October of 2000 to provide the Palestinian people with emergency aid to alleviate their suffering and to help rehabilitate their economy.
Source: Anatolia news agency, Ankara, in English 1346 gmt 14 Jun 04
© 2004 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.