Millions in Aid for Palestinian Authority, But Where Has It Gone?

(Scotsman-UK) David Frankfurter - The European Union has poured an astonishing 4 billion into Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority (PA) since 1993. Together with contributions from the UK, the U.S. and other countries, this, according to a leading World Bank official, is the largest per capita transfer of aid funds ever. But where has the investment gone? Consider: Nabil Shaath, the PA's current foreign minister, was cited back in 1997 for financial mismanagement. Today, he owns a super-luxury villa in the middle of Gaza. Mrs. Arafat lives in ostentatious luxury in Paris with her mother and staff, funded from EU-provided budgets. The IMF, in a September 2003 report, revealed that hundreds of millions have been misappropriated and pointed to major structural deficiencies within the PA's Ministry of Finance. New villas in Ramallah and Gaza are the few visible signs of donor money having passed through town. The European Commission money managers must be seeing this. Otherwise, how do we explain their recently revised strategy of channeling aid into Palestinian NGOs instead of directly to the PA? Yet most Palestinian NGOs are connected to the PA leadership. Some have been caught engaging in corrupt practices or working outside their stated charters. European money plays a very significant role in the events affecting the Palestinians. The taxpayer deserves to see a better use of the money.

2004-03-19 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive