(MENAFN) Saudi Arabia agreed to award the Palestinian Authority (PA) USD100 million to help fill the widening deficit in its budget, Reuters cited the Palestinian prime minister's office as saying.
Palestinian officials welcomed the cash news, as salaries for public sector employees have yet to be paid in full this month and stagnating economy threatened to mar the usually festive and spendthrift Ramadan holiday beginning next week.
Palestinian officials are seeking the support of more countries to patch a budget deficit projected at over USD1 billion this year, as the award will only cover some USD300 million of the PA expenditures this month.
Israel restrictions on the West Bank resulted in a sharp economic downturn, leaving the PA completely dependant on foreign aid to pay its bills.
Of a hoped-for USD1.1 billion donations last year, the Western-backed Authority in Ramallah received just under USD750 million.
But with Saudi Arabia's aid offer, Palestinians may hope for an end to the shortfall in pledges by traditional Arab benefactors, wrought in part by attention to domestic unrest and spending during the Arab Spring last year.