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Danish minister visits Gaza

November 6, 2014 at 11:28 am

The Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Martin Lidegaard, visited the Gaza Strip today to see first-hand the destruction wrought by the summer’s conflict and hear about the long-term financial, humanitarian and political support necessary to help the people of Gaza rebuild.

Denmark’s total contribution to UNRWA in 2014: $22.6 million

Lidegaard and the Danish delegation drove through the devastated Shujaya neighbourhood and visited an UNRWA school which has become home to some 1,642 of the more than 30,000 internally displaced persons still living in UNRWA facilities because their homes have been severely damaged or destroyed following Israel’s war on the Strip.

Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza, Robert Turner, said: “We are grateful for continued support from Denmark and appreciate the minister’s visit to see first-hand the situation on the ground. Financial contributions, attention and support are critical to families in Gaza being able to rebuild their lives, particularly with the winter approaching.”

“However, sustainable recovery in Gaza requires far more than rebuilding what has been destroyed. Lifting the blockade and addressing Gaza’s many challenges are key elements to attaining self-sufficiency.”

Lidegaard expressed his government’s support for UNRWA and announced a donation of $4.2 million to support Gaza, of which $3.4 million will go to UNRWA.

“Today I have witnessed the massive damages on the ground caused by the 50-day conflict. The scope of the destruction is devastating and continues to affect thousands of lives. For children growing up in such challenging circumstances, it is important that they receive the support and assistance that they need,” he said.

“I am proud that Denmark is able to help UNRWA and provide them with vital support to ensure that Gaza’s children can attend school. I strongly encourage all parties to work towards lifting the blockade of Gaza. The movement of people and goods into and out of the Gaza will be an essential step in trying to ensure that the people of Gaza can return to their everyday lives.”