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Shtayyeh: Palestine Received No Financial Aid From US, Arab Countries

Shtayyeh: Palestine Received No Financial Aid From US, Arab Countries

Thursday, 8 April, 2021 - 08:30
A picture taken by drone on Monday of the burial of a man in Gaza who died due to coronavirus. (Reuters)

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Wednesday that Palestine hasn't received any financial aid from any Arab country or from the US for more than one year.

"Due to lack of Arab funds, the deficiency in the Palestinian budget climbed to one billion US dollars," Shtayyeh told a conference held in the West Bank city of Ramallah on the coronavirus crisis challenges in the country.

"Arab countries haven't sent any financial aid during 2020 until now. In addition, the US has suspended its financial support, which amounted to $500 million per year," he said.

During the conference, the PM said the Palestinian government is ready for austerity and reducing its running cost.

Shtayyeh affirmed that the pandemic has worsened the economic condition, and has negatively affected the psychological, social, health, financial aspects of people's lives. This concurs with annexation schemes, Gaza blockade, Judaization of Jerusalem, settlements, and other political issues.

World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza Kanthan Shankar said that the World Bank has been keen on providing financial aid to the Palestinians since the outbreak of the pandemic.

An amount of $100 million was granted to the Palestinians to reinforce the health system. Further, financial aid was given to the poor families who were influenced by the pandemic, Shankar said.

He underscored the significance of protecting the logistic services and ensuring medical requirements.

Shankar stressed the necessity of taking health precautions, and creating job opportunities in the health sector, and recruiting a sufficient number of employees in this field.

The European Union's representative, Sven Kuehn, said that the EU supported the Palestinian government since the beginning of the pandemic. It granted EUR71 million in addition to EUR5 million to support poor families in the West Bank.

Kuehn added that the EU supported the UNRWAfinacially to fulfill the needs of Palestine’s refugees through its health and relief programs.

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