The Palestinian Authority received Wednesday, April 4, a second $15-million payment from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Palestinian ambassador in Riyadh Hashem Al-Sheikh Dib announced.
He explained this payment was the second installment of the $60 million pledged by the IDB over four months to Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority (PA). The first $15-million installment was paid last month.
The $60 million, which had been allocated to help the PA pay the salaries of its civil servants, are taken from the two Jeddah-based Arab funds which were created at the Arab summit in Cairo six months ago and placed under UDB management to support the Palestinians.
The Jerusalem Intifada Fund was created last October to support the families of Palestinians killed or wounded, and the Al-Aqsa Fund to "preserve the Islamic character of east Jerusalem" and support the Palestinian economy.
The two funds are supposed to total one billion dollars, but the Palestinians have complained that too little of the amount promised has been paid to the PA.
In February, the United Nations estimated that the intifada and the crippling Israeli blockade on the Palestinian territories has cost the Palestinian economy more than one billion dollars. Arafat, however, puts the figure at around $3.2 billion. — (AFP, Jeddah)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)