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Sweden to spend $3m to remove Gaza rubble

The Palestinian government and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), with the support of Sweden, yesterday signed an agreement aimed at removing the rubble and debris in the Gaza Strip.

The project will be implemented by the UNDP and funded by Sweden, and is set to cost $3 million.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said this agreement is an important and positive step, paving the way for accelerating the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, especially with the onset of winter.

A study issued by the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR), a semi-governmental institution which implements infrastructure and superstructure projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, estimated that there is approximately 2.8 million tonnes of debris in Gaza.

Hamdallah said the debris removal project will provide job opportunities and help reduce the unemployment rate in the sector.

According to the latest figures released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, at the beginning of last month the unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip reached approximately 44.5 per cent, with a total number of 200,000 unemployed citizens.

The agreement was signed at the headquarters of the Palestinian Cabinet in Ramallah, West Bank in the presence of the Swedish Consul in Jerusalem Gunnar Olvik and the Special Representative of UNDP Frode Mauring.

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