UNRWA to launch $2.7 million project to rebuild demolished structures in Gaza Strip

12:00 Sep 1 2016 Gaza

GAZA (Ma’an) – UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for providing services to some five million Palestinian refugees, announced Thursday a new $2.7 million project in the Gaza Strip to reconstruct demolished buildings that were destroyed during the 2014 Israeli offensive on the besieged enclave, while the the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities described the economic situation in Gaza as “frustrating.”

UNRWA said in a statement that the project would be launched to reconstruct demolished or partly demolished structures in the besieged enclave. According to the statement, $2,290,904 would be allocated to reconstructing structures that were completely demolished, while $416,500 would be spent on repairing partially demolished structures.

The project will reportedly assist 329 Palestinian families from various districts of the Gaza Strip.

The statement also underscored UNRWA’s commitment to rebuilding Palestinian homes in the coastal enclave that were destroyed during the 51-day Israeli assault which left some 100,000 homeless, calling it their “highest priority.”

Meanwhile, The UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities Robert Piper during a visit to the Islamic University in Gaza City Wednesday described the situation in the Gaza Strip as “frustrating despite the capacity of the Palestinian people in Gaza,” adding that while Gaza boasts a large number of graduates, employment rates in the coastal enclave remain low.

The Israeli offensive, termed “Operation Protective Edge” by Israeli authorities, resulted in the killings of 1,462 Palestinian civilians, a third of whom were children, according to the United Nations.

At least 142 families have lost three or more members in attacks on residential buildings during the Israeli assault, which caused the deaths of 742 civilians, the UN reported in a statement, adding that there were credible allegations that the incidents amounted to war crimes.

The Gaza Strip has suffered under an Israeli military blockade since 2007, when Hamas became the de facto ruling party in the territory.

Residents of Gaza suffer from high unemployment and poverty rates, as well as the consequences of three devastating wars with Israel since 2008.

The UN has warned that the besieged Palestinian territory could become "uninhabitable" by 2020, as its 1.8 million residents remain in dire poverty due to the nearly decade-long Israeli blockade that has crippled the economy.

Residents have continued to experience trauma in their daily lives following the 2014 Israeli offensive, as reconstruction efforts have moved at a glacial pace and with some 65,000 Palestinians still displaced after losing their homes in 2014.
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