UNRWA: Israel delaying Gaza reconstruction; Premier: Donors should do more

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GAZA, October 17, 2016 (WAFA) – Israel is delaying reconstruction of the Gaza Strip by not approving names slated for receiving financial aid to rebuild their destroyed homes, director of UNRWA operations in Gaza Bo Schack said on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference in Gaza, Schack said the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is doing all it can to resolve this issue with the Israelis.

He said Israel has not responded since May to the names presented to it for its approval.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said in Ramallah on Monday that his government has urged donor countries to give more in support of Gaza reconstruction.

He said marking two years for the Cairo Conference for the Reconstruction of Gaza that while donors’ support is acceptable, his government is working on getting all countries to meet their financial obligations toward reconstruction.

A report by the National Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip said the 2014 Israel war on Gaza left 11,000 homes totally destroyed and 160,000 were either severely of partially damaged with 6800 units damaged in a way that made them uninhabitable.

It said that until October 2016, financial support was provided for the reconstruction of 6892 totally destroyed housing units leaving 4,018 still in need of financial assistance.

Also, support was found to rehabilitate 6131 of the severely damaged units not suitable to live in while finances were found to rehabilitate 93,258, or 60.9 percent, of the partially damaged housing units.

Qatar has contributed 33.3 percent of the costs to rebuild the destroyed homes, Kuwait provided 26.8 percent and Saudi Arabia 12.69 percent, said the report.

In addition to the reconstruction of the destroyed or damaged homes, Hamdallah said a new water desalination plant is underway in Gaza that will provide 55 million cubic liters of drinking water a year to the Gaza residents.

He said work on this project is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

 

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