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Kuwait will honour Gaza Strip pledge of US$ 200 million toward reconstruction.

Despite growing economic stress across all Gulf oil producers, the financial support agreement signed

by Abdal-Wahab al-Bader, director general of the Kuwait Development Fund and Jawad Naji, Palestinian

Prime Minister's adviser for Arab and Islamic funds, at a side meeting of an earlier Arab financial

institutions' convention in Kuwait, will hold good.

The Palestine News and Info Agency (WaFa), under the PLO Executive Committee, reported, that out of

the US$200 million funding commitment made by Kuwait, US$75 million had been assigned to the construction

of 1,500 housing units in the conflict ravaged territory. A further US $60 million would be allocated to

the construction of a water pipeline running from the northern to southern sections of the Gaza


The remaining breakdown of funds will see US$ 35 million ploughed into infrastructure projects, while

another US$15 million has been designated for refurbishment of partially damaged agricultural and

industrial facilities. Around US$ 7 million will go toward supporting projects residing in the education

and health sectors.

Many homes in the Gaza Strip were destroyed by Israeli shelling leaving some 100,000 people, half of

which are children, living in shelters, temporary accommodation or with extended families, very few of

whom have been rehoused. Families are often crammed into sweltering caravans, or temporary apartments

that most cannot afford. In addition, there are literally tens of thousands more families forced to

continue to live their lives in severely damaged structures.

According to Oxfam's administration in the region there are many families who have been living in

accommodation without windows, doors, walls or roofs, for a year or more. Many of them have access to a

mere six hours of electricity a day and are often without running water.

Yet while the Kuwaiti funds are an undoubtedly welcome injection and the number of trucks carrying

essential reconstruction materials allowed into Gaza has increased, Oxfam observes that this volume is

still only 25 per cent of the quota in place before an Israeli blockade imposed in 2007. Oxfam also

points out that over half of the building material allowed in during the first half of 2015 was

destined for a road project, financed by the Qatari government, connecting Rafah to Gaza City. In

realistic terms, the onerous supply logistics associated with the rebuilding process do not bode

well for a Gaza Strip construction boom any time soon.

Indeed the international support agency AaeShelter Cluster' estimates that based on the current arrival

rate of construction supplies, it will take 19 years to rebuild the 19,075 homes destroyed during the

war. Sadly even though 12,620 of these homes were totally demolished, a complete lack of progress has

meant that not a single unit was under reconstruction as of third-quarter 2015. A shortfall further

compounded by Gaza's continued population growth in the past eight years.

Copyright [c] Andy McTiernan. All rights reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. ( ).

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Publication:Andy McTiernan Property & Economy Bulletin
Geographic Code:7KUWA
Date:Aug 5, 2015
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