Arab League pledges aid for Palestinian territories

A UNRWA-ran school suffers damage from bombardments in Gaza City. Dirk Niebel, German federal minister of economic cooperation and development has announced a $3.8 million contribution to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Photo by: Shareef Sarhan / UN

The Palestinian Authority has secured a promise of financial assistance that it hopes would help address gaps in its strained budget.

The pledge came from members of the League of Arab States, which has agreed to provide up to $100 million per month to the Palestinian Authority. It was secured at a meeting between Arab League foreign ministers and Palestinian officials in Qatar over the weekend.

“The Qatari prime minister and the Arab League secretary-general will follow up the implementation of this resolution within two weeks,” Saeb Erekat of the Palestine Liberation Organization said, according to Al Jazeera.

The Arab League’s assistance is expected to cover a $100 million shortfall in the Palestinian Authority’s budget that was prompted by Israel’s decision to stop the transfer of tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinians. Israel’s move, which was announced after the Palestinian’s successful bid at the United Nations, dealt a major blow to the Palestinian Authority’s already strained budget and sent President Mahmoud Abbas seeking assistance from other sources.

Even before Israel withheld the tax revenues, the Palestinian Authority was grappling with a $1.1 billion budget gap due to backlogs in donor contributions, including from Arab States.

Additional financing for UNRWA

Meanwhile, German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Dirk Niebel has concluded a three-day trip to trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories, including a quick visit to the Gaza Strip.

In Gaza, he announced an additional €3 million ($3.8 million) contribution to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East. The funds will be used to support the operations of UNRWA schools in the city.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.