Norway provides NOK 240 million in budget support to the Palestinian Authority

Norway has transferred NOK 240 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA), in accordance with its pledge made at the Paris Conference in December 2007. The funds have been provided to support implementation of the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP). The support will enable the PA to maintain the services available to the Palestinian population in the areas of education, health and safety.

“These funds will benefit the Palestinian people, including the hard-pressed civilian population in Gaza,” Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said.

Norway was one of the first donor countries to transfer funds for 2010. The budget support is being channeled through the World Bank Palestinian Reform and Development Plan Trust Fund (PRDP-TF). The Fund coordinates the contributions from the various donors, and monitors their use. As chair of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for Assistance to the Palestinians (AHLC) and as a major donor, Norway attaches great importance to ensuring that the use of the money is strictly controlled.

“The budget support will be used in accordance with the Palestinians’ own development and reform plans, as well as the World Bank’s requirements. We are confident that the funds will benefit the Palestinian people,” the Foreign Minister commented.

The Palestinian Authority’s opportunities for generating revenues of its own are limited. This situation has been further exacerbated by the war in Gaza.

“If the Palestinian economy is to be viable, Israel must lift restrictions on the free movement of goods, services and people. Israel holds the key to an independent and sustainable Palestinian economy,” Mr Støre said.

The Palestinian Authority faces serious financial problems. This budget support will play an important role in building the Palestinian people’s confidence in the PA.

“This support is also an expression of our faith in the efforts of President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayad’s government to establish a democratic Palestinian state,” Mr Støre said.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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