RAMALLAH, Wednesday, December 14, 2022 (WAFA) - Finance Minister Shukri Bishara today signed at his Ramallah office a grant for the Palestinian Umbrella for Resilience Support to the Economy (PURSE) in the amount of $15 million contributed by Norway through the World Bank Trust Fund.
According to the Finance Ministry statement, the grant will support the reform program of the Palestinian government toward strengthening transparency, inclusiveness, and the economy.
At the signing ceremony, the Finance Minister reviewed the Palestinian financial situation, the obstacles facing economic growth, and the financial challenges that have been exacerbated as a result of the continuous and increasing Israeli deductions from the clearance funds, which reached a cumulative amount of $650 million, in addition to other factors that left a negative impact on the economy, coupled with a sharp decline in foreign aid that went down from about 30% of the financing of operating expenses a few years ago until it has become barely 1% of these expenses today.
Bishara thanked the Government of Norway for its steady and stable financial support considering it clear support for the resilience of the Palestinian people and preserving the national institutions on the way to reaching the independent state.
The Norwegian Representative to Palestine, Torunn Viste, said that this funding is not just financial support, but rather expresses an intention to continue to help the Palestinians build their state and institutions and that it stems from Norway’s political position on the two-state solution.
For his part, Stefan Emblad, Director and Resident Representative of the World Bank in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, said supporting policy-related budget is an effective way to support the Palestinian reform program, and that this fund contributes to financing selected strategic priorities in line with the World Bank Group's strategy for sustainable development and the Palestinian National Development Plan for the years 2021-2023, which focuses on strengthening the economy and developing human resources.