Saudis Give PA Emergency Donation, Fayyad Welcomes It
The Palestinian Authority’s Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, hailed on Sunday an emergency $100 million donation received from Saudi Arabia after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas visited the kingdom last week.
“Prime minister Salam Fayyad and the Palestinian people thank... King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz after he instructed the Saudi finance ministry to transfer $100 million to the Palestinian Authority treasury” at Abbas’ request, Fayyad's office said in a statement quoted by AFP.
The money, the office added, would “support the Palestinian Authority and assist them in overcoming the financial crisis they are suffering from.”
Abbas on Friday had asked King Abdullah for emergency financial assistance for his Palestinian Authority government, which is facing a shortfall that officials have said is the worst in the government's history.
On Friday, the top PA diplomat in Riyadh, Jamal Shobaki, told AFP that the PA's debts stood at $1.5 billion.
Citing statistics from Fayyad's government, Shobaki said an estimated $500 million was needed in urgent aid to tackle the current crisis, which has left the government unable to meet payroll for its employees.
PA officials have said the crisis is the result of donor nations failing to deliver on their aid pledges. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently denied a PA request, filed via Israel, for a $100 million bridging loan.
On Wednesday, Abbas is scheduled to meet with newly-elected Islamist Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood that gave rise to Fatah's rival, the Hamas terrorist organization that rules Gaza.