Palestine gets aid from donor conference
Palestine-Morocco, Politics, 12/1/1998
Morocco announced here on Monday plans to continue extending annually usd one million of direct financial assistance to Palestine, in addition to technical assistance and other forms of aid.
Moroccan minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, Abdellatif Filali, who is taking part in the Washington's meeting of donor countries said in addition to foreign financial assistance, an annual one million since 1996, Morocco extends Palestine other forms of assistance, including technical aid for the training of Palestinian executives and the allocation of a part of tobacco taxes and income of theaters directly to Palestine.
He went on that the share of scholarships granted to Palestinian students accounts for 25 percent of the budget of education cooperation with other countries. Filali also recalled Morocco's contributions and initiatives for the city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Filali said Morocco has been keen of supporting the middle east peace process with financial and economic activities, recalling in this regard the fact that the first economic summit of the Middle East and North Africa was held in Casablanca in 1994.
He added that Morocco has extended the Palestinian people, strangled by a series of economic sealing measures, all forms of assistance, including help to build the airport of Gaza, which was dedicated last week, and to train civil aviation operators, meteorology experts and executives of the Palestinian air company, in addition to Morocco's contribution to building a waste water-treatment plant in the Palestinian territories.
Representatives of at least 45 countries gathered on Monday at the State Department in a remake of the conference, held in Washington in October 1993 to raise financial funds to support the Middle-East peace process
US president, Bill Clinton, announced that he will ask the US congress to vote $ 400 million in new aid to Palestine, in addition to the annual usd 100 million assistance.
Other countries also made pledged for assistance.
Out of the $ 4 billion pledged during the previous donors conference, only a half was actually disbursed.
Unemployment in Palestinian Authority areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip decreased tangibly in the first half of 1998, mainly because of fewer Israeli-imposed border closures, but it still stood at 15.6 percent, the United Nations says.
Real monthly household expenditure in the West Bank and Gaza Strip fell 10.6 percent in the first quarter of 1998 compared to the same period in 1997, a U.N. report said.
A report by the Palestinian Authority this month said 23 percent of families in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including Arab East Al-Quds (Jerusalem), live below the poverty line.
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