World Bank

World Bank: Gaza disengagement little impact on Palestinian economy

The World Bank released a paper warning that were the disengagement accompanied by the sealing of Gaza’s borders to labor and trade or by terminating supplies of water and electricity to Gaza, it would create worse hardship than is seen today. “Under such circumstances, the Plan’s assertion that Israel is no longer responsible for the population of Gaza will not resonate,” the paper noted. “Nor would donors appreciate the implication that they must bear the humanitarian consequences of this style of disengagement.” The World Bank regarded the Israeli plan as having little impact on the Palestinian economy, as it will only ease internal movement restrictions. 

World Bank paper urges major easing of Israeli closure measures and stepped-up Palestinian reform efforts

At the request of the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Government of Israel (GOI) and the international community, the World Bank has released a paper - Disengagement, the Palestinian Economy and the Settlements - which looks at the potential impact of Israel’s Disengagement Plan on the Palestinian economy. Of itself, Israel’s Disengagement Plan of June 6 will have very little impact on the Palestinian economy, since it proposes only a limited easing of closure. “Disengagement alone,” says James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, “will not alter this dangerous, unsustainable situation. If disengagement is implemented with wisdom and foresight, however, it could make a real difference.” 

World Bank approves US$20 million grant as budget support to the Palestinian Authority

The World Bank has approved an emergency structural adjustment grant of US$20 million to be used as part of the Bank’s response to the immediate needs of the Palestinian Authority for budgetary assistance. After more than three years of crisis, the PA is facing severe economic and fiscal challenges with a financing gap estimated at US$650 million for 2004. “The provision of budgetary support is widely regarded as vital in maintaining a functioning PA,” says Nigel Roberts. 

World Bank launches multi-donor trust fund to support reform program

With the aim of supporting the Palestinian Authority in sustaining public services in the face of a severe fiscal crisis, the World Bank announced today the Public Financial Management Reform Trust Fund. The Reform Fund builds on the successful budget support mechanisms implemented by the European Commission since September 2000 and seeks to mobilize additional donor resources to support the PA’s budget. Per capita income dropped by half since September 2000 and is now approaching $900, nearly half of the Palestinian population is currently living below the poverty line of $2 per day. 

World Bank grant to sustain education, health and social services

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved this week a US$15 million trust fund grant to the West Bank and Gaza which aims to sustain the delivery of education, health and social welfare services under today’s emergency conditions. This grant is the third in a series of ESSP operations, now totaling US$60 million from the Trust Fund for Gaza and the West Bank. The ESSP operations form a major part of the Bank’s response to the economic crisis associated with the Palestinian intifada.