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Fayyad: Promised donor aid not arriving

June 1, 2011 11:23 P.M. (Updated: June 3, 2011 6:52 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (AFP) -- The Palestinian Authority is facing a financial crisis because funds pledged by donor nations are not arriving on time, Prime Minister of the West Bank government Salam Fayyad said Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference with Japan's representative to the Palestinian Authority, Fayyad said the slow delivery of promised aid was putting pressure on the government.

"The financial crisis continues until now, to varying degrees, and has continued alongside the work of the Palestinian Authority since mid-2010," Fayyad warned, saying the government was facing a serious shortfall.

"We need to see an acceleration in the receipt of aid that has been committed," he added, stressing that the Palestinians "are not asking for anything more than what we need."

"In 2011, we have been receiving $52.5 million dollars a month from the Arab countries, which is much less than the amount they committed to deliver," he said.

The Palestinian Authority is largely reliant on foreign donors to make up its yearly budget. It also receives tax and tariff revenue that is collected by Israel and delivered periodically.

Earlier this month, Israel halted the payments temporarily in response to a reconciliation deal between the Fatah party, which dominates the Palestinian Authority, and rival Islamist group Hamas, which runs Gaza.

The move, which violates international accords signed by Israel, provoked international criticism and Israel agreed shortly afterward to resume the funds transfers.
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