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World Bank pledges $90m for West Bank, Gaza Strip

Palestinians inspect the building that was damaged after Israel carried out an air strike in Gaza on 15 July 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
Palestinians inspect the building that was damaged after Israel carried out air strikes in Gaza on 15 July 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

The World Bank on Tuesday recommended the allocation of a $90 million grant to strengthen private sector capabilities as well as finance infrastructure projects in the occupied Palestinian territories particularly the Gaza Strip.

“In response to an increasingly difficult situation, the World Bank’s Board recommended today the allocation of US$90 million to accelerate much-needed economic welfare for the Palestinian people, an increase from its yearly disbursement of US$55 million. The funds, in the form of grants, will be transferred from the Bank’s own income to the dedicated Trust Fund for Gaza and West Bank,” the body said in a statement.

World Bank Group Vice President for Middle East and North Africa, Hafez Ghanem, said in the statement that “fragility and conflict constitute one of the most pressing challenges to sustainable development, however, inaction significantly increases the potential for unrest and downturn of human development.”

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“We recognise that the full potential of the economy will not be achieved without a political settlement. Yet, more can be done to support the well-being of the Palestinian people who have faced more than a decade of stagnant growth and stubbornly high unemployment,” he added.

In its statement, the World Bank expressed concern about the economic situation in the Palestinian territories, where 30 per cent of the Palestinians are unemployed and half of Gaza’s population are without jobs.

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