PA Finances Focus of Donor Coordination Group Meeting

BRUSSELS, March 16, 2013 (WAFA) – The deepening financial crisis of the Palestinian Authority and how to overcome it will be the focus of the annual spring meeting of the donor coordination group for the Palestinian people, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), which will be held in Brussels on Tuesday.

A European Union press statement said the meeting will be hosted by Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, and presided by Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide, in his capacity as chair of the AHLC. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will attend the meeting.

The first AHLC meeting hosted by the EU High Representative in Brussels in April 2011, welcomed the assessment that the Palestinian Authority (PA) had crossed the threshold for a functioning state in key sectors and that Palestinian institutions compared favorably with those in established states, said the statement.

The forthcoming meeting will focus on ways to address the deepening financial crisis of the PA, including strengthening its fiscal sustainability, improving the regularity and predictability of financial resources provided to the PA, increasing private sector-led growth, promoting access and movement throughout the Palestinian territory, facilitating Palestinian exports and improving the situation in the Gaza Strip, it added.

Developments since the last meeting in September 2012 in New York will be assessed based on reports from the parties, the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Office of the Quartet Representative.

“Only a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can bring lasting security, peace and prosperity to the region,” said Ashton. “The EU remains convinced that a comprehensive negotiated peace must entail a two-state solution with Israel and a sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side within agreed borders in peace and security.”

She said that “this meeting of the AHLC has a key role to play in strengthening the commitment to achieve this goal by sustaining the Palestinian Authority. This is all the more urgent in light of the deteriorating financial situation of the PA.”

Since its establishment in 1993 the AHLC has served as the principal policy-level coordination mechanism for development assistance to the Palestinian people. The strategic role of the AHLC is to underpin political efforts to achieve a two-state solution including supporting Palestinian institution building.

Source: WAFA News