Germany Pledges €37 m to Support Shelter Assistance in Gaza

GAZA, May 13, 2015 (WAFA) – Germany has announced a new €37 million ($41 million) contribution to the UNRWA shelter assistance program in Gaza, said the UNRWA in a press release Wednesday.

UNRWA said it has so far received funding to rebuild only 200 of the 9,161 Palestine refugee homes that have been assessed as totally destroyed, adding that this new contribution will allow it to further develop its shelter assistance response. All of this funding has come from Germany, according to the agency.

Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza, Robert Turner, said: “The support from Germany for reconstruction and recovery in Gaza has been extraordinary. More than eight months after the summer 2014 conflict ended, the situation in Gaza remains desperate and the people of Gaza urgently need other donors to follow the excellent example set by Germany.”

With a total contribution of €80 million ($93 million) to UNRWA programs in Gaza to date, Germany is the second largest supporter of the UNRWA response to the humanitarian crisis resulting from the 2014 conflict.

The new donation was announced by Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Thomas Silberhorn, during a visit to Gaza on 12 May.

Speaking from Gaza, Silberhorn said: “Germany will continue to support reconstruction efforts in Gaza as an integral part of German-Palestinian development cooperation. Our cooperation with UNRWA in supporting Palestinian refugees in Gaza is crucial to reach the most vulnerable and to contribute to better living conditions.”

In 2014, Germany was the fifth-largest UNRWA donor in overall terms, with a total contribution of $79 million.