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Source: World Bank
30 September 2009

World Bank MENA Vice President calls for a sustained international commitment to advance the potential for Palestinian economic recovery

September 30, 2009 - In her address to the AdHoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting at the UN in New York, the World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar emphasized institution-building (including important institutional reforms of the judiciary and land management systems); trade for sustainable economic growth in the West Bank and Gaza; and the role of development partners as critical pillars to support the Palestinian vision for a future state.  These topics are widely discussed in the report titled “A Palestinian State in Two Years: Institutions for Economic Revival” prepared by the Bank in advance of the AHLC.

The AHLC meeting took place on September 22 and was organized and chaired by Norway and hosted by the UN Secretary General. During her visit to New York, Ms. Akhtar met with officials representing the Palestinian Authority (PA), Israel, US, UNSCO, Norway, Office of the Quartet Representative, DFID UK, and France. “The Palestinian vision that was presented at the meeting was welcomed by members of the committee as a proactive step toward building a Palestinian state and setting the foundation for a stable economic future for Palestinians, “said Dr. Akhtar following the meeting. “From the World Bank side, we will continue to work closely with all stakeholders in Palestine, Israel and members of the international development community to ensure that our program of assistance effectively responds to the needs of economic and institutional development as outlined in the Palestinian vision,” she added.

Members of the AHLC welcomed PM Fayyad's pro-active political report: "Building Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State" of August 2009. At present, PA's line ministries are working on the second Palestinian Reform and Development Plan for 2011-2013. The committee acknowledged the PA efforts to strengthen public financial management and improving security throughout the West Bank which in turn resulted in steps taken by the Israeli government to ease movement and restrictions within the West Bank. “The challenge during the next phase will be to promote private sector-led growth through addressing remaining institutional gaps and stepping up efforts to ease restrictions to allow access to international markets, “said Dr. Akhtar. “Budget support to the PA over the next few years will be critical to manage current financing gaps that the PA is addressing. We look forward to maintaining the strong partnerships we have developed with members of the development community to ensure that the financing and capacity development needs for a new Palestinian state are met. This agenda will not only serve Palestinians but will contribute to the economic stability of the region as a whole.”

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