US transfers US$150 million to Abbas government
The United States signed an agreement on Wednesday to grant 150 million dollars to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas' West Bank government. The funds are the first installment of 555 million dollars pledged at a donors' conference in Paris late last year intended to bolster the Palestinian Authority, AFP reported.
The money will go directly to the government's budget to help fill a massive fiscal deficit left in the wake of a seven-year violence and will contribute to a plan by Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad to reform the economy. The accord was signed by Fayyad, US Consul General Jake Walles and the US Agency for International Development's (USAID) local mission director R David Harden in the West Bank city of Ramallah.