War on Iraq hurts Palestinian economy
The Jerusalem Times (independent Palestinian weekly) 27 March 2003
The war against Iraq is going to have serious negative impact on the
Palestinian economy, according to Muhammad Shtayyeh, director of the
Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR). He
said international aid to the Palestinian people is bound to be affected,
particularly aid coming from the Arab countries and Iraq, and trade has
already been curtailed as a result of the outbreak of violence in Iraq.
He was quoted by Al-Ayyam Arabic daily as saying that there is
already a noticeable decline in international aid as many donors have
postponed financing projects and others have stopped aid completely. He
expects the donor countries to start concentrating on rebuilding Iraq or
helping Iraqi refugees rather than helping the Palestinian people, which he
said may come as soon as the war against Iraq clears up.
Arab aid may also be affected particularly if the US is going to
ask the Arabs to contribute toward rebuilding Iraq. Arab revenues from oil
may also drop if price of oil drops in case the US controls Iraq and its
huge oil reserves.
In addition to decline in international financial support,
Shtayyeh said the conflict in Iraq has limited Palestinian trade with the
outside world and increased prices of basic commodities.