Middle East Monitor / October 19, 2020
Arab support for the Palestinian Authority’s budget has fallen by 82 per cent during the first eight months of this year, Shehab news agency reported on Sunday.
According to data issued by the PA Ministry of Finance, the Arab countries have paid the PA $38.1 million in 2020 so far, compared to $198.33 million during the same period last year.
Over the past few months, US President Donald Trump revealed that he had asked the wealthy Arab states to stop paying money to the Palestinians. In July, the PA’s Minister of Finance Shukri Bsharah reported that a number of Arab states had suspended their financial aid for the authority.
The decline in Arab support coincides with a budget deficit in the normally supportive states due to the sharp decline in oil prices and reduced demand for crude oil.
Saudi assistance, Shehab reported, declined by 77.2 per cent, down from $130m in the same period in 2019 to just $30.8m this year. Algerian support fell to zero whereas it paid $26.1 million during the first eight months of 2019.
The PA said last week that Arab support for its budget has fallen by 55 per cent over the past five years from a high of around $1.1 billion. The authority is in the middle of its worst ever financial crisis since refusing to accept the tax revenues collected by Israel on its behalf since July. That is when PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced the suspension of all agreements with the occupation state.