Palestinian government approves 2008 budget

The Palestinian government approved on Monday the $3.337 billion draft budget for 2008 with financing needs of more than $1.6 billion, Palestinian Information Minister Riyadh Malki said.

Palestinian government approves 2008 budget
Malki said the proposal would be submitted to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for approval in the absence of the Palestinian Legislative Council, whose work has been paralysed.

Abbas sacked the Hamas-led government after the Gaza seizure and appointed Western-backed economist Salam Fayyad prime minister.

Fayyad told reporters on Monday that since January, his government had received $0.5 billion in budgetary support from funds pledged at an international donors' conference in Paris last December.

International donors pledged $7.4 billion in aid over three years to Abbas's cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, more than the $5.6 billion that Fayyad had sought for his government's three-year reform and development plan.

"Things are moving in the right direction. For the first time since 2001 we have development projects and we have already received almost 40 percent of the target set for budgetary support," Planning Minister Samir Abdallah said.

Donor states have pledged $2.07 billion in aid for development projects over three years.

A World Bank report said the government would need at least $1.62 billion a year in donor assistance.

Last Mod: 01 Nisan 2008, 15:55
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