Iraq, Qatar Provides $54.7 Million to Support PA’s Budget, Gaza Reconstruction

RAMALLAH, January 14, 2015 (WAFA) – Iraq and Qatar granted the Palestinian Authority $54.7 million in direct support for its budget and support the reconstruction process in the Gaza Strip.

The Permanent Representative of Iraq to the Arab League Dhia’ al-Dabbas announced that his country has transferred $28.7 million in direct support for PA’s budget following a meeting with Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi at the Arab League’s Secretariat in Cairo.

“Iraq has taken this step despite the dire circumstances it has been undergoing, especially those related to the approval of the new Iraqi budget,” said al-Dabbas, who added that his country would continue supporting the Palestinian cause and slammed withholding the tax revenues by Israel as ‘another violation of Palestinians’ rights.

Al-Dabbas expressed his hope that the Arab foreign ministers would adopt a unified position to defend the Palestinian cause when they convene on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Qatar has transferred $25 million for the Palestinian Authority’s budget, announced Deputy Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa.

Mustafa stated the Qatari grant would be allocated to support Gaza’s reconstruction, primarily for providing accommodation for the internally-displaced families, rehabilitating partially-damaged houses and supplying fuel for Gaza power plant and small enterprises.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees UNRWA, said last month that the cost of reconstruction and repair of damaged houses in the Gaza Strip, during the recent Israeli war on the Gaza Strip is estimated at approximately $720 million.

According to Mustafa, $6 million would be allocated to pay rental subsidies for internally-displaced families taking refuge in United Nations-run schools or with relatives. Each family would receive one-time $500 payment in addition to $1,500 to cover the rent for a six-month period.

Another $6 million would be allocated to pay for repairing the colossal damages caused to partially-sustained houses with a total of 2,000 beneficiaries. Each family would receive $3,000.

The sum of $1 million would be allocated for dealing with the houses that poses a risk to the lives of Gaza population and obstructs reconstruction operations as a result of being in jeopardy of collapse.

A sum of $10 million would be allocated for supplying fuel and reducing the current fuel deficit for the Gaza power plant.