Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ordered Palestinian Authority institutions to stop holding official Ramadan iftar dinners and instead divert the allocated money to poor Palestinians.
The Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs said that Abbas also urged the Palestinian private sector to follow suit.
The ministry said that Abbas took the decision due to the financial crisis the Palestinian Authority (PA) is facing and the fact that the invitees to the iftar dinners are political and academic figures and journalists.
It added that the iftar dinners cost the Palestinian Treasury hundreds of thousands of US dollars annually. The ministry said that public and several private sector institutions canceled their reservations following Abbas order.
Majedah Al-Masri, the Social Affairs minister, said that the ministry would allocate the funds to organize iftar dinners for poor Palestinians in all West bank governorates.
Al-Masri added that Arab countries and charities also support the ministry in holding “these Ramadan activities.”
For months, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has warned of financial woes due to a chronic shortfall in financial support pledged by donors, especially Arab countries.