World Bank President says Palestinian government facing public finances problems

RAMALLAH, World Bank President David Malpass said today that the Palestinian government is facing a major problem in public finances and indebtedness.

“I was in the West Bank a week ago. There is a problem related to public finance and debt, and we are seeking to perform better there,” Malpass said in response to a question by WAFA during an online press conference on the occasion of the launch of the annual meetings of the Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington.

The international official also talked about his visit to the wastewater treatment plant in Hebron, which is financed by the Bank, noting the Bank would do efforts to help the Palestinian government build more similar plants.

“Until now, it is Israel that handles the wastewater treatment, and we want this to take place in the West Bank; in Hebron, Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, in order to reduce costs,” he said.

Israel unilaterally deducts monthly amounts from the Palestinian clearing revenues, which it says are in return for receiving sewage water coming from the Palestinian territories, in addition to other services such as electricity, water and medical referrals, totaling more than $50 million per month.

According to the Ministry of Finance, these cuts totaled more than $10 billion over the past 14 years.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency