French Envoy: Palestinians Given $3b in Foreign Aid in 2008

PA budget gets $1.8b, $500b goes to humanitarian assistance; unclear amount allocated to Gaza.

A French diplomat said Tuesday that the Palestinians have received $3 billion in foreign aid in 2008.

Alain Remy, the French consul general in Jerusalem, said that $1.8 billion went for the budget of the Palestinian Authority. Another $700 million went to specific programs. Finally, $500 million went to humanitarian assistance.

At a pledging conference in Paris a year ago, donor countries promised to contribute $7.7 billion through 2010. The money is meant to shore up Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his peace efforts with Israel.

Some of the money reaches Hamas-ruled Gaza as humanitarian assistance and salaries for Abbas loyalists.