The Minister of Public Works and Housing in Gaza, Dr. Youssef Al-Mansi, has signed an agreement with the Qatar Charity for the reconstruction of 75 houses for some of the Gaza Strip’s poorest people. Funding will also be made available for the project from the Gulf Cooperation Council’s financial allocation for the reconstruction of Gaza.
The agreement was signed in a ceremony on Sunday in Cairo. Dr. Al-Mansi expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the Qatar Charity “in supporting and standing beside the Palestinian people during the siege”. He pointed out that the agreement is the result of cooperation and ongoing communication between his ministry and the charity in Doha.
Speaking about the results of the Israeli war against the people of the Gaza Strip, and the widespread destruction of housing and infrastructure, Dr. Al-Mansi explained that the siege of the territory has had a negative effect on reconstruction efforts. “Quite simply,” he said, “we are unable to import raw materials and the necessary equipment for work to go ahead.” He added that despite the blockade and the lack of supplies, his ministry “has worked to break the blockade through communicating with a lot of NGOs and international organisations” since the end of the invasion. He stressed the urgent need for comprehensive reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, noting that the housing sector suffers from a significant shortfall in housing units; more than 100,000 are needed annually.
In response, Mohammed Mubarak Al-Adsani, speaking on behalf of the Qatar Charity, welcomed the collaboration with the Minister and his team, and confirmed his understanding of the situation in the Gaza Strip and the suffering as a result of the destruction. Mr. Al-Adsani noted that the foundation is interested in the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and in helping poor and needy families; he called for more direct cooperation and coordination to serve the Palestinian people and respond to their needs.
The General Director of Minister Al-Mansi’s Office explained that the agreement is the result of huge efforts and continuous communication between the ministry and charity organisations. Imad Hamadeh said that his staff keeps charities and NGOs updated with the details of the destruction of homes and the suffering that is experienced by their owners.
He explained that his ministry maintains a detailed database which provides information about every house which has been destroyed by the Israelis, with images taken before and after their destruction. He called upon all institutions involved in house construction to consult with the ministry in order to take advantage of this invaluable resource.