After the signing of the Declaration of Principles in late 1993, the international community sought to bolster the peace process and pledged over $3.7 billion in aid to the Palestinian people. Donors met again in Washington in November 1998 and in Frankfurt in February 1999 to reaffirm their support, pledging an additional $3.3 billion in assistance for a new five-year period. Donor assistance has played a key role by supporting the PA’s current expenditures until it built its own revenue base, by helping to rehabilitate existing and build new infrastructure, and by providing technical assistance that has contributed to strengthening institutions in the Palestinian territories. Hopes were high at the outset, perhaps unrealistically so, that donor assistance would also be able to jump-start the Palestinian economy.