US renews funding pledge to Palestinians, as PA economy shrinks by 11.5%

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US renews funding pledge to Palestinians, as PA economy shrinks by 11.5%
Shtayyeh outlined a grim picture of how the already-fraught Palestinian economy, had been hard hit by the pandemic causing the PA deficit to double in two years. It now stands at $1.2 billion.
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
FEBRUARY 24, 2021

The US has pledged to renew financial assistance to the Palestinians at an international donor meeting that grappled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fragile Palestinian economy. The dramatic 11.5% shrink last year was one of “the biggest annual contractions since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority,” PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told the virtual gathering of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), which facilitates donor funding to the Palestinians.

Shtayyeh outlined a grim picture of how the already fraught Palestinian economy had been hard hit by the pandemic, causing the PA deficit to double in two years. It now stands at $1.2 billion. “We cannot finance our deficit by borrowing from international markets or by printing money. This means that we lack the economic shock absorbers that have helped other countries deal with the economic consequences of COVID-19,” Shtayyeh said. AHLC members who gathered Tuesday had already been well briefed on the situation with reports, including from the UN and the World Bank. The latter said unemployment in the fourth quarter of 2020 stood at 15% in the West Bank and 43% in Gaza, and it estimated that the poverty rate was around 30%, amounting to approximately 1.4 million.

more........... https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/u...s-as-pa-economy-shrinks-by-115-percent-660101
 
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