Middle East Monitor / September 17, 2021
The Ministry of Public Works and Housing in the besieged Gaza Strip announced that reconstruction of the enclave is set to begin soon but there are fears that donor countries will not fulfil their pledges.
During Israel’s latest bombing campaign against Gaza in May, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Works in Gaza, Naji Sarhan, explained: “1,500 housing units were completely destroyed, and 880 other units were partially destroyed with severe damage, in addition to 56,000 housing units that suffered medium to light damage.”
In an exclusive statement to Arabi21, he confirmed that “the reconstruction process is currently moving forward,” noting that “Qatar has joined the reconstruction plan and wants to start, as well as Egypt. Each has pledged $500 million, a total of $1 billion.”
Sarhan stated that, “during [Chairman of Qatar’s Gaza Reconstruction Committee] Ambassador Mohammed al-Emadi’s recent visit to the Strip, Qatar agreed to start reconstruction in October 2021, including rebuilding the housing units which were completely destroyed, and other uninhabitable units that are severely damaged, making them a priority for us.”
Based on this agreement, “owners of the housing units were contacted to prepare the special plans necessary for the reconstruction of their destroyed homes,” he explained.
He noted that ministry officials had not yet met the Egyptian delegation that arrived in Gaza yesterday.
Sarhan said he expects Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to also contribute to the reconstruction of Gaza. “We are optimistic that all Arab, Islamic and European countries will contribute to the process of rebuilding the Gaza Strip.”
“In the past, there were many promises, and many countries pledged to pay $5 billion, but only about $800 million was actually provided,” he said, expressing hope that “the countries that pledge to finance the reconstruction process will follow through with their pledges.”