WB approves 40 mln USD grant to Palestinians

Baku, February 13, AZERTAC

The World Bank approved 40 million U.S. dollars grant Friday to boost the financial situation of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), in support of public finances and local business environment, according to Xinhua.

The World Bank said that the PNA's revenues performed well in 2015 and increased by nine percent, but it's fiscal situation remains precarious, mainly due to a 60-percent decline in donor aid, high political uncertainty after the peace talks reached a deadlock, the Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2014 and the delay in transfer of revenues collected by the Israeli government on behalf of the Palestinians.

"Such assistance is of utmost importance for the Palestinian economy and public finances. The grant will ease some of the PNA's fiscal stress to advance the reform agenda," said World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza Lau Steen Jorgensen.

Jorgensen said the grant would help give Palestinians hope and described the situation in Gaza as "extremely difficult," due to the slow reconstruction process, as only 35 percent of the financial aid pledged at the Cairo conference for the reconstruction of Gaza were disbursed thus far.

The World Bank, through its Palestinian Recovery and Development Plan Multi-Donor Trust Fund Project, provided 125 million dollars to the PNA in 2015.

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