Sweden donates $5.7m to UNRWA for Gaza reconstruction

People gather around a fire on the rubbles of a destroyed home in Gaza (Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  December 10, 2021

Sweden has donated $5.7 million as part of a funding agreement with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees to support the reconstruction of the besieged Gaza Strip following the 11-day Israeli offensive on Gaza in May.

The Israeli air and artillery strikes during the 11-day assault in May, which killed 253 Palestinians, including 66 children, was marked by its intensity, the targeting of civilian homes and infrastructure.

According to Wafa news agency, the funding through the Gaza Early Recovery Program, aims to restore access to essential services, including decent livelihoods for Palestinians in Gaza, and safe housing and living conditions for internally displaced and vulnerable non-refugee and refugee households.

The funding will also focus on contributing towards debris management, Temporary Shelter Cash Assistance (TSCA), and short-term jobs for livelihood restoration.

UNRWA Director, Thomas White, said: “Supporting livelihood and income restoration for affected people would prevent them from falling into poverty and multidimensional deprivation, while simultaneously reducing reliance on TSCA.”

UNRWA was created in 1949 to provide assistance and protection for the Palestinian refugees who were forced out of their homes to make way for the creation of the state of Israel.

The organization currently offers its services to about 5.3 million Palestinians refugees in the occupied territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.