Sunday, May 19, 2024

UN estimates Gaza reconstruction to take decades, cost more than $40bn

The reconstruction in the Gaza Strip is estimated to take decades and cost more than $40 billion, the director of the Arab States Regional Bureau of the UN Development Program (UNDP) has stated.

UNDP’s plan on the early recovery phase planned for Gaza is estimated to take three to five years and cost $2 to 3 billion, Abdallah al Dardari told reporters, adding that the long-term reconstruction plan will take decades.

“We have not seen anything like this since 1945,” he stressed, stating, “That intensity, in such a short time and the massive scale of destruction.”

Pointing out that the human development index for Palestine has regressed by 20 years, compared to 40 years for Gaza, al Dardari said that Gaza is almost back to the 80s.

All investments in human development in the Palestinian territories over the last 20 years and in Gaza over the last 40 years have been wiped out, he continued.

They estimate investments worth about 50 billion dollars have been wiped out, he added.

Approximately, 37 million tons of solid waste has to be cleared in Gaza, he continued, stating some 72% of the houses have been destroyed.

He stressed that such a large scale of destruction in such a short period of time has never been seen before.

Referring to the situation of the banking sector, al Dardari noted that almost all bank branches in Gaza were destroyed and that UNDP is continuing its efforts to prevent the collapse of the system.

The Israeli army has been pounding the Gaza Strip since October 7, in one of the most intense aerial bombardments in modern history. More than 34,500 people have been killed, according to Palestinian authorities, large swaths of the territory have reduced to rubble and famine looms in parts of northern Gaza amid Israel’s severe restrictions on supplies of food and humanitarian aid.

On top of the destruction, the humanitarian situation inside Gaza has been deteriorating amid restrictions on the number of aid trucks allowed to enter the Strip. UN agencies and aid groups have urged Israel to open more land crossings to Gaza to facilitate aid access and warned of a looming man-made famine.

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