World Bank: $485million needed for short-term recovery of Gaza Strip

July 7, 2021 by TPS
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The 11 days of Hamas attacks on Israel and Operation Guardian of the Walls in May resulted in damage and losses in the Gaza Strip costing up to $380 million in physical damage and $190 million in economic losses, a Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA) conducted by the World Bank Group, United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) shows.

Smoke rising from the Al-Jalaa tower in Gaza after an Israeli airstrike on the building, which housed Hamas operatives and several media outlets, including the “Associated Press” and “Al Jazeera,” May 15, 2021. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.

The total cost of the short-term rehabilitation is estimated at up to $485 million during the first 24 months.

The Gaza RDNA was conducted immediately after the cessation of warfare and in close cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and in consultation with the civil society and private sector in Gaza.

“We hope to mobilize donors’ support to help restore dignified living conditions and livelihoods in Gaza, and lead the way to recovery,”  said Kanthan Shankar, World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza.

The Strip has yet to fully recover from Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014. The hostilities have damaged the already faltering socioeconomic conditions. The unemployment rate in Gaza is roughly 50% and more than half of its population lives in poverty. Following May’s hostilities, 62% of Gaza’s population were food insecure.

According to the RDNA, the estimated value of the physical damage caused by the conflict ranged between $290 and $380 million.

The social sectors were hit the most, $140 – 180 million, making up more than half of the total damage. Housing represents almost 93% of the total damage to the social sectors.

The second most-severely-affected sectors are the productive and financial sectors, with agriculture and services, trade and industry at the fore.

The conflict generated economic losses from interrupted economic flows, production, and services, that ranged between $105 and $190 million. The social sectors were the most affected with about 87% of losses caused by added health and social protection costs and unemployment.

“The cessation of hostilities reached last month has largely held but remains fragile. The UN is continuing its diplomatic engagements with all concerned parties to solidify the ceasefire. In the meantime, we are also ensuring that we do everything we can to meet the most urgent needs that would allow Palestinians in Gaza begin the process of recovery as quickly as possible. This RDNA is an important step in that process. I appeal to the international community to come together in support of these efforts.” said Tor Wennesland, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

The immediate and short-term recovery and reconstruction needs during the first 24 months are estimated between $345 – 485 million, with needs estimated between $345 to $485 million, of which $125 to 195 million in the immediate term from now until the end of 2021, and $220 to 290 million in the short term.

Critical recovery needs include cash assistance to around 45,000 individuals for food and non-food assistance, providing an additional 20,000 full-time jobs for 12 months, and prioritizing housing needs for over 4,000 destroyed or partially damaged.

In addition, financial support is needed to reconstruct the damaged micro and small enterprises that provide services, goods, and jobs to the communities, with a focus on sustainable energy- and water-efficient techniques.

Hamas’ tight grip on the Gaza Strip may prove a significant hindrance in these processes.

TPS

Comments

One Response to “World Bank: $485million needed for short-term recovery of Gaza Strip”
  1. michael kuttner says:

    Any taxpayers’ money which is used to “rehabilitate” Gaza is money down the drain. Unless and until the terrorists holding Gaza hostage are dealt with there will be no possibility of any sort of meaningful change to the lives of the people living there. As long as civilians are used as hostages and rockets and terror tunnels are situated in the midst of schools, hospitals etc. there is no point in reconstructing anything.

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