UN agency seeks global funding for Gaza destructiontext_fields
Gaza: UN Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East Thursday called on international donors to help deal with the unprecedented destruction in the Gaza Strip.
The UNRWA said in an emailed press statement that more than twice as many refugee family homes in Gaza were damaged or destroyed during this summer's Israel-Palestine conflict than had initially been estimated.
From July 8, the Israeli army waged a large-scale military air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip, which lasted for 50 days and left large-scale destruction in housing and infrastructure.
Tens of thousands of people remained homeless. Many of them are still taking shelters in schools run by the UNRWA in Gaza.
According to the UNRWA's estimates, the total funding for rental subsidies, reconstruction and repair would cost $720 million.
The statement said that the UNRWA has already received donations from several countries that would add up to $100 million, while the remaining $620 million are still needed.
"Based on satellite imagery and preliminary field work conducted immediately after the conflict, we estimated about 42,000 refugee family shelters had been affected by the war," Xinhua quoted the statement as saying.
The UNRWA estimated that over 7,000 refugee homes were completely destroyed, affecting some 10,000 families. An additional 89,000 homes suffered damage, about 10,000 of which were seriously damaged.
"These numbers are huge and represent both a major challenge to the agency as it works to provide transitional shelter and repair and reconstruction support, and clear physical evidence of the ferocity and widespread nature of the conflict," the statement quoted Robert Turner, director of operations for UNRWA in Gaza, as saying.
"The main concern right now is not only the scale of the requirement but the pace at which we will be able to address the needs," Turner added.