The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said on Sunday that it has received just 18 per cent of the funds needed for the reconstruction of homes in the war-battered Gaza Strip. “UNRWA has received $135 million out of $720 million it requested last December to rebuild and repair homes which were destroyed during last summer’s Israeli offensive on Gaza,” spokesman Sami Msha’sha told Anadolu.
He added that UNRWA was unable to carry out its reconstruction plan for thousands of homes in the Gaza Strip due to the lack of funds. “The funds we received thus far were spent on immediate humanitarian relief services in Gaza.”
In July and August of last year, more than 2,160 Gazans, mostly civilians, were killed, and another 11,000 were injured, during seven weeks of relentless Israeli attacks. The 51-day offensive saw the destruction of 15,671 housing units across the Gaza Strip; almost 2,300 were destroyed completely, according to official Palestinian figures.
The offensive finally ended on 26 August with the announcement of an indefinite cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian resistance groups. The Israeli occupation has been blockading the Gaza Strip since 2007. The siege has deprived the territory’s population of 1.9 million Palestinians of most essential basic needs.
Last October, participants at a major donor conference in Cairo pledged a total of $5.4 billion to the Palestinians, almost half of which was earmarked for the reconstruction of Gaza.