UN Calls on Donors to Honor their Pledges at Gaza Reconstruction Conference

JERUSALEM, November 5, 2014 (WAFA) – The United Nations called, in a statement Wednesday, upon international donors to honor their pledges at the Cairo conference to fund much needed infrastructure projects and to address the urgent electricity and water needs for Gaza.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, confirmed that the temporary Gaza reconstruction mechanism has commenced its operations, giving priority focus to making available reconstruction material for urgent shelter repairs.

As of Monday evening, some 700 beneficiaries were able to purchase much needed construction material in order to start the rehabilitation of their homes after the recent devastating conflict in Gaza, stated the statement.

“The United Nations continues to mobilize every effort to ensure this mechanism works for the benefit of Palestinians in Gaza and at a scale that will address Gaza’s massive reconstruction needs,” confirmed the statement.

The statement highlighted that in the absence of viable alternatives, the UN views the temporary reconstruction mechanism as an important step towards the lifting of all closures on Gaza in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1860 of 2009.

The UN also called for empowering the Government of National Consensus to assume its rightful responsibilities in Gaza, in order for reconstruction to be implemented at the required pace.

“The Special Coordinator therefore calls on all parties concerned to cooperate and urgently address important issues; such as the transfer of full control over the crossings to the Government and conducting in good faith civil service reform, including in the security sector,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the UN called for urgently accelerating the implementation of the mechanism in order to reach some 60 thousand shelters in need of repair, involving the use of cement or other dual-use materials in advance of the winter season.

“The UN is fully engaged towards completing the surveying of these 60,000 homes, including raising sufficient resources to help those in need. The Special Coordinator will continue his efforts in the coming days with the parties to urgently expedite this work,” said the statement.