World Bank says Palestine will continue to rely on donor aid unless Israel eases up

“Donor countries will have to keep giving large amounts of aid to the Palestinian government in the foreseeable future, unless Israel eases access of Palestinian goods to Israeli and world markets, the World Bank said in a report Friday”, according to a story published by Israel’s YNet on Friday. YNEt added that “The warning came ahead of a meeting of representatives of donor countries next week in New York, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The donors are to review their aid scheme, which is based on the assumption that injecting large funds into the Palestinian territories will boost the economy and make the Palestinians gradually less dependent on aid. Donor countries have given billions of dollars to the Palestinians since 1993, in an attempt to prop up an economy battered by conflict with Israel and severe Israeli restrictions on Palestinian trade and movement … [T]he West Bank and Gaza, on either side of Israel, remain cut off from each other. Palestinian exports from the West Bank are hampered by slow movement of goods through Israeli-controlled crossings into Israel or Jordan. The Abbas government is still short of money, the bank said, citing a $400 million financing gap for this year. The government’s net revenues were more than 15 percent below target in the first half of 2009, the report said”. The YNet story can be read in full here.

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