July 29, 2008 - 5:20pm,7340,L-3574691,00.html

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has appealed to the World Bank to help him secure emergency financing to bridge a shortfall in donor funds and pay public workers, Palestinian and European sources said Tuesday.

Fayyad is seeking a so-called comfort letter from the international lending agency to obtain short-term private bank funding, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

His unusual appeal underscores the extent of the Palestinian Authority's budget crisis despite billions of dollars in aid pledged last year as part of a US-backed peace drive.

The Palestinian Authority's workers are supposed to get paid later this week and any delay would be embarrassing for Fayyad's Western-backed government, formed a year ago in the occupied West Bank after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip.  



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