Twelve Arab donor countries have
paid 80 percent of their outstanding contributions to the two funds
established by an Arab summit for the support of the Intifada,
according to Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Ali, president of the Islamic
Development Bank which supervises the funds.
Speaking to Asharq
Al-Awsat, a sister publication of Arab News, he disclosed that there
is a balance of $107.64 million in the Al-Quds Fund and $430.57
million in the Al-Aqsa Fund, bringing the total to $538.2 million.
“What remains to
be paid by the donor states constitutes only %22 percent of the total
amount,” he explained.
Dr. Ali highlighted
the financial needs of the Palestinian people as they confront the
“The two funds
will not be enough to meet all their needs,” he said, and added that
more efforts should be made to support the Palestinians to enable them
to face their formidable enemy.
He said seven
countries have paid their full offers. They are Syria ($7 million),
Algeria ($30 million), Kuwait ($150 million), Jordan ($2 million),
Bahrain ($3 million), Qatar ($50 million) and Oman ($10 million).
Saudi Arabia has
given $200 million from a total of $240 million, while Egypt paid $20
million from $30 million, the United Arab Emirates $92 million from
$150 million and Yemen $2 million from $10 million. He said the Saudi
government has informed the bank that it will pay the remaining amount
He refuted the
allegations leveled against him by some members of the Palestinian
Authority that he was delaying payments to the two funds.
“We don’t have
the authority to distribute the money. We are authorized by the Arab
summit only to set out the mechanisms and principles for the smooth
functioning of the two funds,” he insisted.
Dr. Ali said the
authority of distributing money from the two funds was in the hands of
the donor countries. He said the bank gave money to support the PA’s
budget on recommendation of an Arab foreign ministers’ committee.
Israelis stopped payment of the PA’s dues the follow-up committee
comprising foreign ministers decided to give the authority loans from
the Al-Aqsa fund,” he said.
The IDB chief said
there was no delay in paying financial assistance to the families of
Palestinian martyrs or to the Palestinian Health Ministry and Red
Crescent Society, and clarified: “We have started paying them soon
after receiving the money.”
The PA has so far
received loans worth $251 million from the two funds.
The IDB cooperates
with the two funds to carry out certain projects in Palestine. The
bank has contributed $1 million to a $10 million project for financing
Palestinian universities. The bank has also presented a memorandum to
the OIC foreign ministers meeting in Bamako urging other Islamic
countries to disclose their financial contributions to the two funds.