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Friday, May 02, 2008

US wants to give PA another $400 million

At a donors' conference for the 'poor Palestinians' in London on Thursday, USAID administrator Henrietta Fore said that the United States would 'look favorably' on a request from the 'Palestinian Authority' to close a 'budget shortfall' of $400 million.
A report from the International Monetary Fund, released in advance of Friday's meeting, said the Palestinian Authority faced a $400 million budget shortfall in the second half of the year.

Asked if Washington would be amenable to a request for more money to help with the budget shortfall, Fore said: "Yes, we think that this is an important part of the world. It's important to support and back strong efforts of progress of people who are working for peaceful, prosperous solutions."

At the December donors' conference in Paris, the United States pledged $555 million for Palestinians over the next year, including $150 million in budget support.

Fore said there was a problem with some countries not disbursing the funds they had promised in Paris.

"It is important that we keep up with the good progress of the Palestinian Authority and Prime Minister (Salam) Fayyad's government," she told Reuters in an interview.

"So no doubt we will focus (at Friday's conference) on making sure that governments and organizations that have made pledges are making good on their pledges, and in a timely fashion to be useful," she said.

Fore was due to hold talks with Fayyad on Thursday to hear about the situation first hand.

"From what we are seeing there has been good solid financial progress," she said. But the Palestinian Authority's needs had increased both because of the weaker dollar and because it was paying its bills more quickly, she said.

"So I'd like to look at that, I'd like to see what their financial needs are and what their progress is," she said.

She did not expect the United States to pledge new money on Friday however.
I have a budget shortfall too. It's not quite $400 million. Anyone think I can get USAID to fix it for me?


At 1:46 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Palestinians have been the most lavish recipients of foreign aid in history and yet they can't balance a budget. We're supposed to believe they'll finally get the hang of it when their reichlet is set up. Yeah, right!


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