Tag Archives: world-bank

Bank deal boon for women entrepreneurs

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with a Palestinian bank to support smaller firms, especially those owned by women, drive economic development. IFC will help Bank of Palestine scale up its banking operations for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the West Bank and Gaza. IFC will also help the bank develop new products and services that cater to the financial …

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Bank deal boon for women entrepreneurs

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Israel slams World Bank’s West Bank report: Jerusalem calls conclusions a ‘terrible mistake’ – Video



Israel slams World Bank's West Bank report: Jerusalem calls conclusions a 'terrible mistake'
Israel has hit back at new World Bank report on the Palestinian economy calling the document a 'terrible mistake'.

By: JewishNewsOne

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Israel slams World Bank’s West Bank report: Jerusalem calls conclusions a ‘terrible mistake’ – Video

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World Bank: Struggling Palestinian economy loses billions over Israel's West Bank restrictions

JERICHO, West Bank — The World Bank says the Palestinians could expand their struggling economy by one-third if Israel allows them to use the 61 percent of West Bank territory that's now largely off-limits to them.

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World Bank: Struggling Palestinian economy loses billions over Israel's West Bank restrictions

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News Summary: World Bank analyzes West Bank market

PALESTINIAN ECONOMIC PAIN: The World Bank said that Palestinians could expand their struggling economy by a third and slash their budget deficit in half if Israel allowed them to use West Bank territory that is now largely off-limits.

POLITICAL REALITIES: Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said most of the issues raised by the World Bank are to be settled in ongoing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Developing the Palestinian economy is in Israel’s strategic interest, but is “related to questions of security.”

THE TERRITORY: Israel controls about 61 percent of the West Bank, or Area C, as well as security and crossings in and out of the area. Palestinians administer the rest of the West Bank.

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News Summary: World Bank analyzes West Bank market

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Arabs offer Palestinians $100 mln a month "financial safety net"

DOHA (Reuters) – Arab states agreed to provide the Palestinian Authority with a $100 million monthly “financial safety net” to help President Mahmoud Abbas’s government cope with an economic crisis after the United Nations granted de facto statehood to Palestine.

Israel has responded to the November 29 U.N. vote by ordering 3,000 Jewish settler homes be built in the occupied West Bank and announced it would hold back payments of customs duties it collects on behalf of the Palestinians to pay an outstanding electricity bill.

In a statement issued on Sunday after a meeting in Doha, Arab foreign ministers called for the “immediate implementation” of a resolution passed at an Arab summit in Baghdad in March, which called for the provision of a $100 million monthly safety net.

But the statement did not give details of how the money would be paid or who would pay.

Israel and the United States opposed the U.N. General Assembly’s upgrade of the Palestinians’ status to “non-member state”, saying Abbas should instead resume peace talks that collapsed in 2010 over Israeli settlement-building.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund said in September that a gathering crisis in the Palestinian economy will worsen unless foreign funding increases and Israel eases long-standing curbs on development.

In a separate report, the World Bank also forecast a $1.5 billion Palestinian budget deficit for 2012, with donor funds expected to cover only $1.14 billion of this shortfall.

Last Thursday, the Palestinian cabinet said at a meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah that $240 million were needed every month to meet demands arising from the Israeli decision to stop customs revenues transfers and the failure of donors to transfer previously pledged funds.

The Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank and receives most of its aid from the United States, the European Union and Arab states.

But over the past several years there has been a shortfall in aid coming from Arab states resulting in the PA being unable to pay salaries to its 153,000 civil servants on time on several occasions. The administration has yet to pay November salaries following Israel’s decision to withhold money transfers.

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Arabs offer Palestinians $100 mln a month "financial safety net"

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Stifled West Bank economy drains Palestinians' hopes

16 October 2012 Last updated at 05:07 ET By Yolande Knell BBC News, Hebron

Passers-by linger in front of the window displays on a main shopping street in central Hebron but seem reluctant to enter the stores. In the old market, vendors call out their wares but are largely ignored.

The city is the largest in the West Bank and a major commercial and industrial hub, accounting for about one third of the West Bank’s GDP. Recently it was also the scene of some of the worst violence during Palestinian economic protests.

Locals blame the discontent on high unemployment, low wages and the rising cost of living as well as the heavy burden of consumer debt.

“Our economy depends 100% on customers and as you can see, now the customers have no money,” says Ayman, a tour guide.

As the global recession plays out, the Palestinians are not alone in facing such woes. Yet, as a recent World Bank report highlighted, there are some unique factors that also hurt their economy.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) relies on international aid but has seen a recent shortfall in donor funding, the World Bank says, while the Israeli occupation of the West Bank sets obstacles that “constrain investment, raise costs and hinder economic cohesion”.

Worryingly for the international community, committed to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, there are now many ordinary Palestinians who conclude that the 1993 Oslo Accords should be scrapped.

“We need to go back 20 or 25 years before Oslo. The basic rules of this commitment are so bad for the Palestinian people,” says Amr, who runs a market-stall in Hebron.

The interim peace agreement produced the current zoning of the West Bank where the main Palestinian urban areas are under the administrative and security control of the PA, but 62%, known as Area C, remains under full Israeli control.

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Stifled West Bank economy drains Palestinians' hopes

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Mideast barriers inflame shortfall

The Palestinian economy is in a deepening crisis because of a shortfall in donor funding and Israeli obstacles to Palestinian investment in the most fertile parts of the occupied West Bank, the World Bank warned yesterday.The stark…

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Mideast barriers inflame shortfall

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Palestinians' deepening financial crisis 'threatening Oslo Accords'

The Palestinian economy is in a deepening crisis because of a shortfall in donor funding and Israeli obstacles to Palestinian investment in the most fertile parts of the occupied West Bank, the World Bank warned yesterday.

The stark depiction of the Palestinians’ economic woes is likely to revive fears in the West of further unrest in the Occupied Territories amid a stagnating peace process and a week of protests against the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Demonstrations have rattled the Palestinian leadership, prompting one senior official to threaten scrapping the Oslo Accords, a 1993 interim agreement intended as the basis of a two-state solution, and which included accompanying agreements detrimental to the Palestinian economy.

Such a move would have far-reaching repercussions, placing financial and security responsibility for the West Bank on Israel’s shoulders. Since the end of the second intifada, the Authority has played a critical role in restoring calm, even as Israel entrenches its occupation of the West Bank, which it captured during the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Authority is facing a 250m budget deficit this year, the World Bank said, money needed for the timely payment of 150,000 civil servants’ salaries, already delayed several times this year. It urged international donors to fulfil pledges to support the Palestinian economy, but warned that unless Israel eased its physical and economic control over the West Bank, any recovery would be temporary.

“Donors do need to act urgently in the face of a serious fiscal crisis facing the Palestinian Authority in the short term,” said Mariam Sherman, World Bank country director for the West Bank and Gaza. “But even with this financial support, sustainable economic growth cannot be achieved without a removal of the barriers preventing private sector development,” she added.

In a separate report, the International Monetary Fund said that economic growth in the West Bank and Gaza was likely to fall to 6.2 per cent this year from 9.9 per cent last year, with unemployment expected to reach 20 per cent.

Under the Oslo Accords, Israel controls 60 per cent of the West Bank, classified as Area C. Jewish settlements, viewed as illegal by the international community, have rapidly expanded in the past two decades, and now control some of the most fertile land in the West Bank.

Palestinian investment is almost totally barred in Area C, even though Palestinians could reap substantial revenues if they were permitted to develop it, the bank said. Israeli industrial settlements in the West Bank are said to produce 185m worth of goods for export to Europe.

Oslo, which allowed a measure of Palestinian self-governance, was only ever intended as an interim measure to pave the way to a final status agreement. Instead, negotiations have dragged on for nearly 20 years, and with the rise of a right-wing government in Israel, the peace process has been pushed almost entirely off the agenda in recent months.

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Palestinians' deepening financial crisis 'threatening Oslo Accords'

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World Bank, IMF warn on Palestinian budget shortfall

The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank faces a $400 million budget shortfall and risks “social upheaval,” the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund warned on Wednesday.

The two financial institutions, in reports published ahead of a meeting of international donors in New York next Monday, urged new funding for the Ramallah-based government, which is struggling with a deep financial crisis.

In recent weeks, demonstrators have brought West Bank cities to a standstill over the spiralling cost of living, and particularly steep petrol costs.

The demonstrations forced prime minister Salam Fayyad to slash VAT and fuel prices.

The World Bank report warns of “a time of deepening fiscal crisis for the Palestinian Authority,” noting that the situation is likely to “worsen by the end of 2012.”

Both institutions said the government faces a current budget gap of $400 million “if donor pledges are met,” noting that promised funds, particularly from regional neighbours, have often not been forthcoming.

“If no additional donor funding is identified,” the World Bank says, “the PA may be forced to finance the gap through accumulating additional arrears to the pension system and cutting some of its basic spending such as wages, which could have severe social impacts.”

The IMF noted that growth has slowed and unemployment risen in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In the West Bank, growth fell to five percent from nine percent in 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, while unemployment jumped to 19 percent in the first half of 2012, up from 16 percent in the same period a year earlier.

In Gaza, the IMF report said, growth slowed to six percent in the first quarter of 2012 even as unemployment climbed to 30 percent from 28 percent over the same period last year.

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World Bank, IMF warn on Palestinian budget shortfall

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Palestinians face $400 million budget gap: World Bank

The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank faces a $400 million budget shortfall, even if current donor pledges are met, the World Bank warned in a report on Wednesday, calling new funding “critical.”

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Palestinians face $400 million budget gap: World Bank

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