Kuwait and the World Bank signed here on Wednesday a USD 50 million grant agreement to support the ongoing Palestinian Reform and Development Program (PRDP). The agreement was signed by Kuwait's Ambassador to the US, Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa region, Inger Andersen. World Bank Executive Director and Dean of the Executive Board Merza Hasan witnessed the signing.
This amount is in addition to the USD 180 million that Kuwait provided to the PRDP World Bank-administered multi-donor trust fund since 2008.
In remarks to KUNA, Sheikh Salem reiterated Kuwait's steadfast and continued support for the Palestinian cause, affirming that Kuwait's support for the Palestinian people will remain steadfast as it is a main issue for the Kuwaiti leadership and people.
The Ambassador said, "the State of Kuwait considers the budget support to the PA crucial, as ways of ensuring the social and economic well-being of the Palestinian citizens." He reiterated that Kuwait "is , and will always , remain to be steadfast in its support to the Palestinian people." The contribution will help support urgent budgetary needs the Palestinian Authority (PA) is facing, providing inter alia support for education, health care and other vital social services for the Palestinian people and for the economic reforms currently underway.
For her part, Andersen said the PRDP Trust Fund "is central in supporting Palestinian reforms and development plans and we are grateful to the State of Kuwait for its contribution." "The World Bank's involvement in supporting and monitoring the reform efforts will strengthen the PA's capacity to sustain a number of significant reforms introduced to date, and to bolster further progress," she added.
On the other hand, Merza Hasan stressed that "the State of Kuwait;s contribution is highly significant and timely given the fiscal challenges the PA is facing. It will ensure continuity of its institution-building and better public service delivery reforms." The World Bank PRDP Trust Fund was established in April 2008 when an agreement was signed between the World Bank and the Palestinian Authority during the 2008 World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings.
It is a central component of a World Bank effort to support the ongoing Palestinian Reform and Development Plan.
In addition to Kuwait, the governments of Australia, France, Norway, and the UK regularly contribute to this Fund. With the new contribution from Kuwait, the trust fund will reach nearly USD 900 million, of which approximately USD 850 million have already been disbursed.