WASHINGTON, Friday, October 22, 2021 (WAFA) - The World Bank’s Board has recommended the allocation of $80 million to support the economic welfare and durable opportunities for the Palestinian people. The funds, in the form of grants, will be transferred from the Bank’s own income to the dedicated Trust Fund for Gaza and the West Bank.
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, now in its second year, the impact of May 2021 conflict with Gaza, and the fiscal distress, the new replenishment comes at a critical time to help support Palestinian economic development while responding to these shocks to the economy and society,” said Kanthan Shankar, World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza.
The funds will support the Bank’s assistance strategy, aimed at strengthening resilience and providing much needed support for social protection. The strategy is aligned with the World Bank Group’s crisis response to mitigate the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
It also supports the recovery efforts in Gaza through cash-for-work opportunities for poor and vulnerable populations and through the second phase of an energy sector multi-phase programmatic approach.
The funds will also contribute to a well-connected Palestinian economy that is more integrated into the regional and global markets with a particular focus on energy trade and digital connectivity. It will be particularly be beneficial to private sector growth, including tech startups and the IT services sector. These efforts will help foster job creation and sustainable opportunities that are at the core of the World Bank strategy.
Building on its partnership with the Palestinian Authority and coordination with donors, including through its analytical work, the World Bank Group said it will work with Palestinian policymakers to support the reform agenda in the priority areas of governance and public financial management, gender reform, and climate change, as well as building investor confidence in the business environment.