RAMALLAH, Thursday, April 9, 2020 (WAFA) – Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said today that the total economic losses of Palestine as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are estimated at $3.8 billion in all sectors.
"Government‘s estimates of the total losses in the Palestinian economy amount to $3.8 billion, and various sectors will be affected," he said during a videoconference meeting with the ambassadors, consuls and representatives of various countries to Palestine. He added that the exact total of losses will be audited by a joint committee between the government and the World Bank.
The Prime Minister briefed the ambassadors and consuls about the components of the government‘s $137 million plan to confront the pandemic, which includes the provision of medicines and equipment and other assistance to the healthcare sector for this end.
Shtayyeh also briefed the consuls and ambassadors on the emergency budget plan approved by President Mahmoud Abbas, aimed at keeping public spending at a bare minimum while maintaining assistance for needy families, supporting the healthcare sector, paying government employees‘ salaries and meeting the security needs.
Meanwhile, he said the budget deficit are expected to increase to $1.4 billion due to the decline in government revenues by more than 50%.
The Prime Minister called on donors to support the Palestinian response plan to confront the coronavirus pandemic, and work to reallocate development and development funds to support the public budget and cover urgent health needs in Palestine.
Shtayyeh added that although the pandemic and its economic and social repercussions pose a challenge to all countries of the world, the situation in Palestine was of a particular nature due to the Israeli occupation and the lack of sovereignty over the land and borders.