World Bank rebuilding plan for Gaza, West Bank

22nd April 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 21 (AFP) - The World Bank is working on a plan for the reconstruction of Gaza and part of the West Bank which could involve investments of between USD 500 million and USD 2 billion annually, the head of the bank, James Wolfensohn, said in an interview to appear Thursday.

PARIS, April 21 (AFP) - The World Bank is working on a plan for the reconstruction of Gaza and part of the West Bank which could involve investments of between USD 500 million and USD 2 billion annually, the head of the bank, James Wolfensohn, said in an interview to appear Thursday.

"Whatever the terms of a final agreement by (Israeli Prime Minister) Ariel Sharon on a withdrawal from Gaza and a part of the occupied territories, the Palestinians will recover around 50 percent of their territory," he told the French business newspaper Les Echos.

"The crucial question is now to bring hope, to go from hostility to stability. The only response is to finance the reconstruction of Gaza and the territories. We are working on such a plan," he said in the interview, published in French.

He said the investments could amount to between USD 500 million and USD 2 billion (EUR 422 million to EUR 1.69 billion) annually.

Wolfensohn said the Palestinians urgently need an airport, and also a port and a free-trade area, which would be established in collaboration with Jordan and Egypt.

He said managing the current Palestinian administration alone requires around EUR 400 million to EUR 600 million per year.

Under Sharon's disengagement plan, Israel will evacuate all the Jewish settlements in Gaza but retain control over most in the West Bank. The plan won the enthusiastic endorsement of US President George W. Bush last week.


© AFP

                                           Subject: French news

 

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