Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, who met the Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah today, commented, “This funding will be used to implement the National Development Plan. It is an important contribution that will help the PA to maintain vital services to the Palestinian people, such as education, health and security services.”
After two years of considerable financial support from the international community and a high rate of growth in the Palestinian Territory, the situation is beginning to change, particularly in the West Bank. Revenues from taxes have been lower than expected, and the Palestinian Authority now faces serious economic challenges.
“I urge other donors to transfer their budget support contributions for 2012 as soon as possible,” said Mr Støre.
Mr Støre also emphasised that Israel has a particular responsibility for removing restrictions that are preventing the development of the Palestinian private sector and sustainable growth in the Palestinian economy. “I urge Israel to improve conditions for Palestinian value creation and to allow more trade between the West Bank and Gaza, as well as with Israel and third party countries,” said Mr Støre. He also conveyed this message when he met the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.