Slow pace of reconstruction in Gaza leads to frustration: UN official

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Palestinians searching the rubble of destroyed homes in Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip. Shareef Sarhan/UNRWA Archives

The slow pace of rebuilding Gaza is leading to frustration among its people.

That's what the new Commissioner-General of the UN Relief Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) Pierre Krähenbühl said on Tuesday.

He spoke during a visit to the region by Spain's Foreign Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo.

Gaza is recovering from the conflict with Israel in 2014 which claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Palestinians and about 60 Israelis, displaced thousands of others and destroyed thousands of houses.

Mr Krähenbühl briefed on the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism, which is a temporary agreement between the governments of Palestine and Israel brokered by the United Nations in September.

"The Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism is up. It exists and it has started to work but the pace at which it works is clearly too slow. It is clearly not leading to the type of reconstruction effort that was expected. It is leading to frustration among the people. UNRWA has now spent up to $70 million in helping families with the lighter repairs in their homes, the walls, the doors, the windows that needed to be repaired and also the rental subsidies." (29")

Mr. Krähenbühl warned, however, that money is running out and that would be what he described as "a very severe development" if UNRWA does not receive funding in weeks to come.

For his part, Spain's Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo said the international community has to show solidarity and act now in Gaza.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration:  1’48″


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