Creating new perspectives since 2009

Gaza factions accuse UNRWA of ‘procrastinating reconstruction file’

April 22, 2022 at 10:03 pm

Palestinians inspect their house, after it was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike, in the city of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on 16 May 2021. [SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images]

The Palestinian factions in the besieged Gaza Strip yesterday accused the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) of procrastinating in rebuilding completely destroyed houses during the Israeli aggression last year.

The Follow-up Committee of the National and Islamic Forces called for “expediting the reconstruction works.” UNRWA has refuted the accusation.

“After UNRWA completed the required tasks in the reconstruction file, which included about 700 homes across the enclave, we were surprised that nothing was actually accomplished,” the factions told Quds Press. “Donors have disbursed the funding, the materials needed for the reconstruction are available, and the Works Ministry has managed to resolve all the issues faced by the UN agency,” the factions stressed.

READ: Palestinian refugees are being marginalised by the focus on UNRWA

The statement pointed out that the delay was caused by “bureaucracy and procrastination by UNRWA,” describing the Agency’s behaviour as “dangerous and totally unacceptable”. “The UN must be held responsible for the delays,” they added.

On its part, UNRWA said it had completed the rebuilding of “partially damaged houses,” explaining that it would begin to build the completely damaged houses “within a week”.

UNRWA’s media advisor, Adnan Abu Hasna, told reporters that his Agency had “rebuilt around 7,000 partially-damaged houses, and another 450 severely-damaged houses.”