IMF Calls for Donor Support for PA Territories

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on Tuesday for more donor aid to support the economic recovery of the Palestinian Authority (PA)-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria and of Gaza, AFP reported.

The IMF said in a report that the reconstruction process in Gaza following last summer’s war between Israel and Hamas "is moving far more slowly than expected."

The economic cost of the 50-day war is estimated at $4 billion for Gaza, the IMF noted.

"While notable progress has been made recently with the provision of materials for the repair of individual homes, larger construction projects that are required for a job-creating economic recovery are still pending," the report said.

According to the IMF, of the $3.5 billion promised for the reconstruction of Gaza at the Cairo Conference in October, only about 27 percent had been disbursed by mid-April.

The Washington-based crisis lender, which provides technical assistance to PA-controlled territories, said the economic outlook for them is "highly uncertain". The economy fell into recession in 2014 for the first time since 2006.

A key uncertainty, it said, is the continuation of clearance revenues, revenues collected by Israel in the form of indirect taxes on imported goods and later transferred to the Palestinian Authority, which account for two-thirds of total revenues.

The IMF projected a mild economic recovery in Judea and Samaria this year, with growth at 2.5 percent, in part based on the assumption of steady  transfers for the rest of the year.

For Gaza, growth was expected to rebound to 7.0 percent from a weak 2014 base.

Whatever measures the Palestinian authorities take to repair finances, the IMF said, they "might not be sufficient to fully close the financing gap" and "additional donor aid would be needed."

The report is the latest in a series of IMF warnings over the past few years regarding the PA’s economy.

The PA has been claiming to suffer from an economic crisis for several years now and has been begging the world to step up financial aid in order to save it from collapsing. At the same time it has continued to provide huge monthly salaries to terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/195627

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