World Bank to donate $55 m. to West Bank, Gaza

04/07/2012 12:48

JP:  The World Bank will donate $55 million to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the international organization announced Friday.

"The Bank’s support will continue to focus on strengthening the institutions of a future Palestinian state," the organizations stated.

The $55 million will be transferred to the Trust Fund for Gaza and the West Bank, pending approval from the Board of Governors. It will be invested in promoting private-sector growth and strengthening public institutions, in line with the Palestinian National Development Plan for 2011-2013, the Bank stated.

“The Palestinian fiscal situation appears to be worsening despite efforts to reduce expenditures and increase revenues. This is linked to the system of restrictions on access to land, water and export markets which imposes economic costs and constrains private sector growth,” said Mariam Sherman, World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza.

The Bank has traditionally been critical of Israel's policy towards the Palestinians, stating last year that Israeli restrictions have been making it difficult for the private sector to develop a self-sustaining economy.

“We are supporting the authorities as they build institutions and deliver services to citizens but this must be coupled with measures to develop longer-term opportunities to unleash the vibrant Palestinian entrepreneurial spirit,” Sherman said.

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