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PA says it needs $1.4 billion to meet budget
Published Tuesday 26/03/2013 (updated) 16/04/2013 12:06
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RAMALLAH (AFP) -- The Palestinian Authority was on Tuesday debating a draft budget amounting to $3.9 billion, of which it said $1.4 billion would have to come from foreign financing.

PA Prime minister Salam Fayyad lamented a lack of payment of foreign aid as he presented the 2013 draft budget to politicians and economists in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, on Monday.

"Drawing up this budget came in difficult circumstances," he said. "The principal reason for our financial crisis last year was the lack of payment of foreign financial aid that was counted on."

The draft specified the need for $1.4 billion in "external financing".

On Friday, following a three-day visit by US President Barack Obama to Jerusalem and Ramallah, a top official in Washington said the US had unblocked almost $500 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority which had been frozen by Congress for months.

And Israel is to immediately unblock revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, frozen last year in retaliation for the Palestinians winning upgraded UN status, the Israeli premier's office said on Monday.

Total 2013 expenditure, including on development, would amount to almost $3.9 billion, the Palestinian draft budget said.

The government's recurring deficit would be just over $1.0 billion, and its total deficit stands at $1.4 billion.

Of $350 million to be spent on "development," $300 million would need to come from abroad, according to the draft.

The draft will be discussed on Tuesday and Wednesday by the government, and will have to be approved by president Mahmud Abbas by March 31.

The Palestinian Authority's gross debt stands at $3.8 billion.

At an Arab League summit in Doha that began Tuesday, Qatar called for the immediate establishment of a $1 billion fund to help Palestinians in Arab east Jerusalem, and offered to contribute $250 million towards it.

Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, made the proposal at the opening of the summit, saying other Arab countries must provide the remainder, and that the fund would be run by the Islamic Bank in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

He gave no details for its implementation.

The World Health Organization on Monday said hospitals in east Jerusalem were at risk of failing to treat patients due to the Palestinian Authority's financial woes, calling on international donors to step up aid.

"The PA's debt to the East Jerusalem Hospitals Network (supported by the WHO and the EU) has persisted as donor support to the PA has decreased," it said in a statement.

"Staff salaries are consistently paid late and basic supplies for quality clinical care are lacking," it added.

There is "risk (of) closing down entire departments due to the increasing financial deficit," it said, urging donors to "support the PA to meet its obligations.
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1 ) evan / usa
26/03/2013 19:20
Lets be real. i dont get it. If all the arab countries got together and supported their "bretheren" then the palestinians would be the richest in the area.

2 ) Mel / USA
27/03/2013 16:34
END ISRAEL'S APARTHEID OCCUPATION&BIGOTTED BLOCKADE! Take the $3-6 BILLION that our US(Holocaust-guilt-ridden)cowardly Congress give-ILLEGALLY-to born-again Nazi-Zionists in Israel,and use it to REBUILD POSITIVE PEACE&FREEDOM for Arab Muslims/Christians in Palestine.End the segregation,occupation&UNEQUAL,BAD LAWS!Or else,we choose the path of NAZISM,dishonor ALL our Veterans,& abandon the very principals the USA was built on&for!Broker REAL PEACE Obama!Not negative CAGED tension and BLOWBACK!

3 ) shirley / australia
29/03/2013 12:49
the PA need to crack down tax evasion estimated at 400 million plus ayr and every pal must start to pay electricity this is the way to freedom end costant tenticles of occupation cordination stop ISreali co,panies monoplies in WEST BANK stop buying import so many goods and use aid efectivley to create jobs which in turn generate taxes move to east jerusalem all gov bodies to shore up east jerusalem turning to ghetto RAMALLAH developed enough then support business east Jerusalem cut Isreal taxes

4 ) Salam / Aleikum
30/03/2013 08:42
#2 Mel, take your medication and put the bottle away. Your shrill serves no purpose other than to expose your mental illness. So, do us and you a favor, take your meds and stay away from alcohol. It's no good for you and haram.

5 ) fourbytwo / UK
01/04/2013 11:12
#2 I am unclear whether your rants are for real or are spoofs.

6 ) Filipe / Portugal
07/04/2013 20:53
It's simple------ cut the budget by $1.6billion if you don't have it !!!

7 ) Rami / Palestine
10/04/2013 11:05
#5 <-- what he said 10

8 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
11/04/2013 00:41
@ 4), 5), Well said but Mel is actually a damn powerful speaker; hell, these boards wouldn't be the same without him. He's a regular poster here (like me) and says what he means and means what he says. So even if he appears to go off the deep end just cut him some slack. He's never boring. ... Separately, @ 1), DAMN well said (maybe not the richest but certainly not lacking) ... Again, as I've said forever, if the Palestinians were all in Jordan/Palestine, these problems would vanish.

9 ) Outlier / USA
11/04/2013 03:00
Yet the PA plans - and will pay for - a conference on Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. Bizarre priorities.

10 ) Rami / Palestine
25/04/2013 08:53
#8. You know, if YOU were in Poland, or Germany, or Russia, or the United States or wherever the hell you came from...you and all your ethnic cleanser buddies...there wouldn't be an occupation, there wouldn't be a conflict, there wouldn't be any settlements...."these problems would vanish." You came here from somewhere else. We've always been here. We aren't going anywhere so you might as well get used to that, or go home...your REAL home.
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