IDB launches $20 million initiative to aid victims of Israeli separation wall
The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Al-Aqsa Fund have launched a $20 million special initiative to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian victims of the “separation wall” being constructed by Israel in the West Bank.
IDB President, Ahmad Mohammed Ali, announced the special initiative at Dubai 2003, the meeting of the boards of governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He said IDB would invest $10 million as seed contribution in the new initiative and invited Arab countries and other international donors to contribute a further $10 million to support an urgent program to assist the thousands of Palestinians affected by the building of the wall, which has and denied residents access to water, healthcare, education and other basic facilities and further restricts freedom of movement in the West Bank.
According to recent studies by the IDB and international institutions including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the wall is greatly prejudicing prospects for the Palestinian economy. The special initiative will immediately provide support to communities and will set the pace for future donor assistance as the construction of the wall progresses.
The special initiative is the latest to be launched by the Islamic Development Bank and the Al-Aqsa Fund in aid of the Palestinian people. It is an extension of the support for the Palestinian people by the Arab countries through the Al-Aqsa Fund which is managed by the IDB administered under the Arab Aid mechanism for Palestine. The fund has a capital value of $800 million and was constituted in October 2000 following the extraordinary summit of the Arab League in Cairo.
To date the Al-Aqsa Fund has approved a total of 20 projects and programs valued at $576.2 million covering all vital sectors of the Palestinian economy with special emphasis on education, health, reconstruction of infrastructure and municipal facilities, agriculture, trade and industry, and employment generation. In addition, the fund provided $405 million to the Palestinian National Authority. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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