A Palestinian woman makes a withdrawal at the Housing Bank for Trade & Finance in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
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Foreign support to the Palestinian Authority has fallen by nearly 50 percent in the past three years, leaving the budget under severe strain and the pensions system close to collapse, the World Bank said Thursday. While the Palestinian Authority, overseen by President Mahmoud Abbas, has done well to reduce the deficit over the past decade, cutting it by 15 percentage points to 10 percent of GDP, external financial support has fallen even faster.Overall, the Palestinian economy is expected to grow at around 3.5 percent in the coming years.The World Bank said the only way to avoid wider economic problems for the 4.8 million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza was for foreign donors to reverse the fall in support.
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