Friday, September 17, 2010

World Bank: PA ready to become a (welfare) state

From Bloomberg:

The Palestinian Authority is “well-positioned” to establish a state, though it remains donor dependent and economic growth is unsustainable, the World Bank said.

“If the Palestinian Authority maintains its current performance in institution-building and delivery of public services, it is well-positioned for the establishment of a state,” the World Bank said in a report to donor countries. “Sustainable economic growth in the West Bank and Gaza, however, remains absent.”

The West Bank and Gaza economies are heading for 8 percent growth this year, up from 7.2 percent in the West Bank in 2009 and 5.4 percent in Gaza, Oussama Kanaan, the head of the International Monetary Fund’s mission to the area said on Sept. 14. While some of the growth is due to improved investor confidence and the partial easing of restrictions by Israel, the main driver remains foreign donations, the World Bank said in its report.

Unless action is taken in the near future to address the remaining obstacles to private sector development and sustainable growth, the Palestinian Authority will remain donor dependent and its institutions, no matter how robust, will not be able to underpin a viable state,” the bank said.
The news report is parroting the actual World Bank report in headlining that the PA is in good shape to establish a state, and then only many paragraphs later admitting that this state would remain completely dependent on foreign aid for the foreseeable future and that the state will not be viable. 

If fact, the entire theme of the report is to play up the successes and play down the intractable problems.

So we have headlines around the world claiming that the World Bank is saying that the PA is positioned to become a state, and only keen readers will notice that the type of state that they are envisioning is one that will be almost wholly dependent on outside money. They are pushing the establishment of a state that is, in their own terms, not viable.