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Fayyad Urges Arab Nations to Follow Up on 'Safety Net'

PA prime minister Salam Fayyad urges Arab League nations to make good on $100 million a month in pledged "safety net" funds.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/17/2012, 4:15 AM

PA Prime Minister Fayyad
PA Prime Minister Fayyad
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad urged Arab League nations on Sunday to make good on $100 million a month in pledged "safety net" funds, warning that his government was facing a "dangerous" financial crisis.

"I have nothing left to do but to urge our Arab brothers to activate this net, because until this point there has been no movement to deliver the $100 million," Fayyad told reporters at a briefing in his Ramallah office, according to AFP.

"If this safety net is not activated quickly, I'll call for an emergency Arab summit to discuss financial situation because it's a dangerous situation," he said.

Last week, representatives of the Arab League who met in Qatar’s capital Doha pledged to transfer a monthly sum of 100 million dollars to “the state of Palestine”. The money is meant to give the PA government under Mahmoud Abbas a “financial safety net.”

The exact form of the payment was not determined, but Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi said after the meeting that the “mechanism is that the chair of the committee (Qatar) and the secretary-general will contact each country with the exact amount they have to pay.”

The PA currently faces its worst economic crisis since its founding, and Fayyad warned several months ago that the entity may soon fail financially and cease to exist.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund warned in September that the PA faces a $400 million budget shortfall and risks “social upheaval.”

Recent protests over the economy in the PA prompted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to order the transfer of a 250 million shekel advance to the PA from tax revenues collected by Israel. In response to Abbas’s recent unilateral move at the United Nations, Israel has decided to withhold taxes collected for the PA.