UNDP to help Gaza families find homes

Sep 17, 2014

Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator speaks at a ceremony to mark the start of a programme that will help Gaza recover from the recent conflict. The rubble in the background is all that remains of a 12 storey apartment block destroyed by fighting in August. Photo: UNDP

As the process of recovery begins following the recent conflict in Gaza, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has announced that it will help the government begin rebuilding, as well as assist families whose homes were damaged or destroyed to find shelter.

UNDP will provide US$ 1 million in support to Gaza’s Ministry of Public Works and Housing and the Union of Palestinian Contractors, who have begun a comprehensive assessment of the damage caused by 51 days of intense military operations between the government and the State of Israel. The assessment will examine physical and material damage to the housing sector across the Gaza Strip and deliver a report to the Government of National Consensus.

At the same time, UNDP will provide rental subsidies, help with repairs and provide emergency jobs to residents affected by the conflict.

“Many people have lost livelihoods after the fighting left businesses destroyed or damaged,” said Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator at a recent ceremony to mark the start of the programme. “The emergency work will provide those affected with an income, prevent them from slipping into poverty and help with the recovery.”

UNDP says it will grant jobs in rubble removal, repairing damaged community infrastructure such as bridges, roads, markets and schools, and restoring solid waste services.

The conflict resulted in the deaths of more than 2,100 Palestinians including over 1,400 civilians. By the end of August, more than 18,000 homes had been destroyed or severely damaged, leaving approximately 108,000 people homeless.

H.E. Dr Mufeed Al-Hasaina, Minister of Housing and Public Works, urged donor countries to financially contribute to the reconstruction programme. “We thank UNDP for all the efforts exerted in the assessment process of the destroyed and damaged houses which started early this week, and hope to have the assessment process accomplished within the planned time frame of four to six weeks,” he said.

“The scope of work is immense and we have a responsibility to help the people of Gaza rebuild their lives,” said Mr. Mauring. “As a leading development agency with a long history of building essential infrastructure, we feel it necessary to take stock of the extent of damage incurred in order to set the basis for sustainable recovery and longer term development.”

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