Doha to pay salaries of ex-Hamas employees

Updated 14 June 2014

Doha to pay salaries of ex-Hamas employees

RAMALLAH: Qatar is stepping in temporarily to help the new Palestinian unity government pay former employees of Hamas’s disbanded Gaza government, an official said Friday.
The Gulf state said it would contribute a total of $60 million while the Palestinian Authority grapples with a pay row, the first challenge for a government formed to try to end years of Palestinian rivalry.
Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah “received a phone call from the Qatari Prime Minister (Sheikh Abdullah bin Naser bin Khalifa Al-Thani), who told him that $20 million would be transferred each month for three months to pay Gaza employees,” government spokesman Ihab Bseiso said in a statement.
The money would go to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, Bseiso said, and a “special fund” would be set up to pay wages while the government discussed how to resolve the issue. The PA has so far refused to pay Hamas’s 50,000 civil servants, who are not registered as its employees because they were appointed after Hamas ousted bitter rivals Fatah from Gaza in 2007.
Former Hamas premier Ismail Haniya, who resigned after the unity government was formed last week, phoned Qatar’s emir on June 5, when the dispute arose, to ask for his help in supporting the new government.
The Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, then “promised to help,” particularly with paying the salaries of employees, a Hamas statement said.


Sudan flood death toll reaches 62: state media

Updated 33 min 3 sec ago

Sudan flood death toll reaches 62: state media

  • Sudan has been hit by torrential rains since the start of July
  • Nearly 200,000 people in at least 15 states across the country have been affected

KHARTOUM: Heavy rainfall and flash floods have killed 62 people in Sudan and left 98 others injured, the official SUNA news agency reported on Sunday.
Sudan has been hit by torrential rains since the start of July, affecting nearly 200,000 people in at least 15 states across the country including the capital Khartoum.
The worst affected area is the White Nile state in the south.
Flooding of the Nile river remains "the biggest problem", SUNA said, citing a health ministry official.
On Friday the United Nations said 54 people had died due to the heavy rains.
It said more than 37,000 homes had been destroyed or damaged, quoting figures from the government body it partners with in the crisis response.
"Humanitarians are concerned by the high likelihood of more flash floods," the UN said, adding that the rainy season was expected to last until October.
The floods are having a lasting humanitarian impact on communities, with cut roads, damaged water points, lost livestock and the spread of water-borne diseases by insects.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said an extra $150 million were needed from donors to respond to surging waters, in addition to the $1.1 billion required for the overall humanitarian situation in Sudan.