Covid-19 Battered Palestine to Get $30m World Bank Grant Aid

4 months ago
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The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted the Palestinian economy. The Israeli siege and the Coronavirus pandemic have caused a loss of over $200 million in April alone in the Gaza strip. Of the 14,458 cases in Palestine, 11,209 are in the West Bank, 75 in the Gaza Strip, and 3,174 in East Jerusalem. For an area the size of Palestine, it cannot be a greater worst-case scenario for the residents. 

To somewhat mitigate the sufferings of the people and make an effort to bring the economy back on the rails, the World Bank has announced a grant of $30 million. In a press release, the Bank said that around 68,000 Palestinian families have been economically harmed by the pandemic. A major chunk of the grant, $20m will be earmarked for helping these families through the Cash Transfer Project of the World Bank. 

Before Covid-19 struck Palestine, there were already 21,400 households under the purview of the Cash Transfer Project. But due to the economic crisis, the Palestinian Authority had been unable to provide funds for the Project in the second quarter of 2020. It is these families along with many more that will get substantial relief from this World Bank grant.  

The agreement for the aid was signed between the Finance Minister Shukri Bishara and the West Bank and Gaza Strip representatives of the World Bank in Ramallah at the Prime Minister’s headquarters . The premier announced that $10 million would be set aside for the temporary employment program and would be implemented by selected Palestinian institutions. 

The objective of the aid is explained by Kanthan Shankar, the World Bank Country Director for the West Bank and Gaza.

Kanthan Shankar said

This emergency financial relief from the World Bank is to be seen as an investment in human capital to enable the residents of Palestine to live a dignified life.