By Yamurai Zendera
Gulf state says funds will help to build 1,500 homes and construct water pipeline in war-weary enclave
Kuwait has pledged $200m to the Palestinian government to support the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.
The agreement was 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, on the sideline of the Arab financial institutions’ meeting held in Kuwait.
The Palestine News and Infor Agency (Wafa) reports that of this $200m, $75m will be allocated to the construction of 1,500 housing units in the war-weary enclave, while another $60m will be devoted to the construction of a water pipeline stretching from northern to southern Gaza Strip.
Some $35m will also be allocated to infrastructural projects, while another $15m will be earmarked to rehabilitation of partially damaged agricultural and industrial structures. An amount of $7m will be dedicated to supporting projects in the education and health sectors.
Around 100,000 people, more than half of them children, are still living in shelters, temporary accommodation or with extended family after their homes were destroyed in the Israeli shelling of the Gaza Strip. Tens of thousands more families are living in badly damaged homes.
According to Catherine Essoyan, Oxfam's regional director, “Families [in Gaza] have been living in homes without roofs, walls or windows for the past six months. Many have just six hours of electricity a day and are without running water.”
She adds, “Only an end to the blockade of Gaza will ensure that people can rebuild their lives. Every day that people are unable to build is putting more lives at risk. It is utterly deplorable that the international community is once again failing the people of Gaza when they need it most.”