PA welcomes US aid release, calls for Arab payments
Published Saturday 28/04/2012 (updated) 30/04/2012 14:05
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- PA officials on Saturday welcomed US President Barack Obama's lifting of an aid block to the government, while calling on Arab states to fulfil aid pledges.
The Palestinian Authority applauded Obama's order to release the funds, which were withheld after Palestine applied for full membership of the United Nations last year, Cabinet secretary-general Naim Abu al-Hummus told Ma'an.
The release of the full tranche of blocked aid, partly lifted in November, will fund infrastructure development by the PA, he said.
Calling on the US to provide the aid as soon as possible, the official pointed to the PA's precarious financial situation, and asked that foreign donors not link assistance to the PA's political positions.
He also urged Arab states to fulfill their financial commitments to the PA, made during a recent meeting of the Arab League, which he said will pay public sector employees salaries for the month of May.
The budget deficit stands at $1.1 billion, officials say.
Economical analyst Nasr Abdul Kareem warned that the released US aid will not entirely solve the financial crisis, as funds are directed at infrastructure and security spending.
But he added: "Without doubt (the US aid) will help to solve the crisis partially, at a time when the PA needs every dollar to push the economical cycle."