The Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) has warned during APLA Administrative Committee meeting, held on 08/17/2020 in Ramallah, that was headed by Mr. Tayseer Abu Sneina, APLA Deputy President, Executive Director Eng. Abdallah Anati and APLA Adminstrative Committee members, of the risk of forcing municipalities and village councils to cut down on the services they provide to citizens including the basic services in the near future, due to the financial hardship local authorities are undergoing.
APLA stated that local authorities are experiencing severe financial hardship as a result of the significant decline in their revenues through the current year due to the failure of the Palestinian government to transfer the accumulated debts to the local authorities, in addition to the drop in the levying rate of licenses and fees as a result of the disruptions the economic activity is facing and the reluctance of citizens to pay their dues owed to these local authorities. Moreover, the suspension of a large part of the funding allocated to development projects, and the upsurge in expenditure caused by the spread of the emerging COVID-19 virus, have added to the financial and human burdens upon the local authorities’ responsibilities.
APLA declared explicitly that some local authorities have lost more than 50% of their revenues, while others have completely stopped to receive any revenues, the thing that shall lead to cutting off many services, while suspending some others. It has called on both the government and the partners to work on finding fundamental and prompt solutions in order to enable local authorities resume their responsibilities and respond to the needs of the citizens to counter the spread of the “COVID-19” virus.
The Administrative Committee had discussed in details the most prominent challenges and problems it was facing during this period.
On the other hand, the Administrative Committee has approved the adjusted budget for the year 2020 and the 2018/2019 administrative report of APLA. It has also reviewed the report of activities for the current year and the directives of its approach for the next phase.