Palestine urges donors to support 137-mln-USD plan to fight COVID-19

Source: Xinhua| 2020-04-10 01:01:44|Editor: huaxia

RAMALLAH, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Palestine on Thursday called on donor countries to support its emergency response plan to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic, which requires 137 million U.S. dollars.

The Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye briefed ambassadors and diplomatic representatives to Palestine about the government's emergency response plan and the expected economic losses in light of the pandemic, in a video conference meeting.

"This pandemic's economic and social consequences are a challenge to all world countries. But in Palestine, we are facing unconventional circumstances due to the occupation and the limited sovereignty on our territory and borders," Ishtaye said, according to a press statement by his office.

"The government forecasts a total loss of some 3.8 billion U.S. dollars to the Palestinian economy, which would hit various sectors," he noted.

The Palestinian government has been in difficult financial situation for over two years, and in light of the pandemic, it estimates that its budget deficit will increase to 1.4 billion U.S. dollars and a decline in revenues by over 50 percent.

On Wednesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas instructed Ishtaye to enact an emergency budget, minimizing public expenditure and focusing on the COVID-19 crisis.