Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The World Bank to boost Palestinian economy


By Marc Henry - October 30, 2018
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Section: [Main News]
Tags: [unemployment] [economy]

The World Bank announced on Saturday that it had increased this year’s allocation for Palestine to $90 million. 

Each year the World Bank allocates a certain amount of money to Palestine.
 
$55 million was initially allocated to Palestine, prior to Marina Wes, the World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza, Saturday’s announcement.
 
According to Wes, a new assistance strategy for Palestine was presented to the World Bank’s board of Executive directors, focusing on job creation and private sector development.
 
“The unemployment rate in both the West Bank and Gaza are extremely high especially among young people, and that is why in this new assistance strategy, we have prioritised at the job creation agenda,” Marina Wes said in an interview with WAFA.
 
The latest figures released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) in August revealed the unemployment rate in Palestine during the first quarter of 2018 at over 30%, with around 50% unemployment in the Gaza strip compared to around 20% in the West Bank.
 
According to the report, unemployment was highest among young individuals aged 20 to 24 years.
 
The increased allocation is aimed to start the implementation of the new strategy and help growth in Palestine to become more private sector-driven in order for it to be sustainable.
 
“If we want to have sustainable jobs, it needs to be driven out of private sector,” Wes said.
 
At the same time, the World Bank official praised the Palestine Authority for dealing with its public finances and keeping them under control.
 
“Nor what we’re seeing is an increasing reduction in public finances which obviously provide high risks to the sustainability of the PA budget, and it is something that we have to monitor closely as we go forward,” Wes said.
 
The economy of Gaza is also being monitored by the World Bank, as it has declined sharply in the first half of 2018.
 
“Over the last decade or so, the blockade has undermined the capacity of the productive economy so the manufacturing base that used be there is no longer there,” Wes said.
 
According to the World Bank’s Country Director, financial aid is required in Gaza, in order to create short-term jobs and to make sure that basic services such as education and health are maintained and improved.

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