Algeria Provides Close to $53M in Direct Support to PA’s Budget

CAIRO, March 24, 2015 (WAFA) – Algeria has provided close to $53 million in direct support for the Palestinian Authority’s budget, said Algeria’s Representative to the Arab League Nadhir al-Arabawi.

Speaking during a meeting for the Arab Permanent Representatives in Sharm el-Sheikh, al-Arabawi said his country has provided $52,800,000 in a direct contribution to PA’s budget.

Algeria has accordingly honored its financial commitments in full support of the Palestinian people in their struggle to realize their legitimate rights and aspirations to establish a state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

This announcement came hours after the Palestinian cabinet approved an emergency budget starting from April 1.

Gripped by severe financial crisis, the Palestinian government during its weekly session has adopted and referred the 2015 emergency budget for President Mahmoud Abbas for approval due to the international donor’s failure to fulfill their financial obligations, Israel’s persistent withholding of Palestinian tax revenues for the fourth consecutive month and Arab countries’ failure to provide a financial safety net.

Since last December, Israel has been withholding $127 million of monthly tax revenues that it collects on behalf of the PA in reprisal over PA’s decision to accede to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and pursue war crime charges against Israel.

The monthly tax revenues account for 70% of the Palestinian budget and is used to pay tens of thousands of public servants.

The cabinet stated that the emergency budget takes into account rationalizing spending, increasing revenues and it does not exceed borrowing cap from banks.

The cabinet stated that it would continue to pay 60% of public servants’ salaries and to slash the operational costs of its ministries and institutions by 50%.

It also stated that it would continue to pay security allowances for disadvantaged families and others classified as living below the poverty line and would partially pay the arrears to the private sector.

The cabinet also stated that it has allocated $800 million for Gaza reconstruction and $300 million for normal development projects to be covered from international donor aid as well as another $20 million provided from the public treasury.

Once the financial crisis ends, a new supplemental budget will be put forward for the year 2015.