VENTURES AFRICA – North African country, Algeria has transferred $26 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA), it was announced this week.
This money is meant to alleviate the PA’s ongoing financial crisis, the Arab League official said.
This prompted another call from the PA to Arab states to set up the Arab financial safety net and pay pledged funds to the PA.
It is understood that the authority needs $240 million a month to be able to fulfill its obligations as long as Israel continues to withhold its funds.
This week Algeria deposited transferred money to the Palestinians, the state-run Palestinian news agency WAFA reported, citing deputy Arab League secretary-general Ahmed Ben Helli.
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby has sent letters to Arab governments to speed up $100m of monthly payments to the Palestinians agreed to at an earlier summit in Baghdad.
The $100 million in assistance represents the equivalent amount of Palestinian tax revenues that should come through Israel, which the Jewish state has withheld after the authority successfully applied to become a non-member state of the United Nations.
The Palestinian Authority has been struggling with a fiscal crunch since mid-2012 and been unable to pay employees’ salaries.
Starting on September 5 last year, thousands of Palestinians, upset over rising food and fuel prices and the PA’s inability to pay government salaries, took to the streets to demand the resignation of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
These initial demonstrations were exploited by members of Fatah, PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ faction, with the aim of sidelining Abbas’ long-time rival and perhaps winning concessions from Israel and the PA’s foreign donors.
But the protests quickly took on a life of their own, spreading to cities across the West Bank and eventually leading to demands for the ouster of Abbas, too.
In a bid to shore up the crisis, Fayyad relented and agreed to rescind planned price increases and promised to pay salaries.
Israel consented to transfer in advance some of the Palestinian tax revenue it collects, and the European Union pledged to pitch in more money to the cash-strapped PA.