Office of the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process
Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism
1. The Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM) is a temporary agreement between the Government of Palestine (GoP) and the Government of Israel (Gol) brokered by the United Nations in September 2014. If implemented in good faith this mechanism represents an important step towards the objective of lifting all remaining closures, and a signal of hope to the people of Gaza. Its overall objective is to enable construction and reconstruction work at the large scale now required in the Gaza Strip, in keeping with the requirement to:
a. Enable the GoP to lead the reconstruction effort;
b. Enable the Gazan private sector;
c. Assure donors that their investments in construction work in Gaza will be implemented without delay;
d. Address Israeli security concerns related to the use of construction and other 'dual use' material.
2. The GRM foresees two main streams of work: GoP and UN led. Both rely on the establishment of a central database within the GoP's Ministry of Civil Affairs (MoCA) to track the material required and delivered to the Gaza Strip.
a. Government of Palestine led works
i. Repair of damaged homes/properties. After a basic assessment of damages sustained and quantities required for repairs (either by the GoP or the UN) owners/dwellers will be able to purchase aggregate, bar, cement and other 'dual use' materials from GoP-approved vendors in Gaza. A small proportion of these works will undergo a spot-check by UN-contracted engineers. This process will enable the rehabilitation of an estimated 80,000 damaged homes and properties. A large number of the detailed assessments are now ready for inclusion in this database. A more detailed public fact sheet for intended beneficiaries in Gaza will soon be made available.
ii. Large scale public and private sector works. Projects will largely be identified based on the GoP National Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan for Gaza. Following the preparation of basic engineering materials (schematic drawings and bills of quantity), information will be registered in the central database for subsequent approval by Gol. GoP licensed contractors undertaking these works will then be able to procure the needed quantities of building materials, for public infrastructure (e.g. hospitals and schools) and for the private sector (e.g. factories) directly from GoP-approved vendors in Gaza. A more detailed public fact sheet for the private sector in Gaza will soon be made available.
b. United Nations led works
i. The mechanism will ease the approval procedures, make them predictable and lighten the administrative/coordination process for UN agencies engaged in construction work including inter alia schools, clinics and supporting the provision of basic utilities. Approvals will be issued at the 'Programme of Works' level rather than on a project-by-project basis. It is expected that this new approval mechanism will facilitate smooth implementation of the "UN Programme of Work" to be submitted to the International Cairo Conference on Palestine for Gaza Reconstruction. Approval has already been received for the outstanding (pre-July 2014) projects totalling US$100 million from the Government of Israel. As vendor/contractor building capacity in the Gaza Strip grows, the UN will also be able to procure materials directly from Palestinian vendors.
3. A High Level Steering Team, consisting of representatives of the GoP (Ministry of Civil Affairs), Gol (CoGAT) and the UN (UNSCO) has been established and is actively engaging to ensure all processes move forward smoothly. UNOPS has been commissioned to establish a unit to ensure and coordinate end use monitoring.
a. The UNOPS support project to the GRM is now being established, and a first version of the mechanism database referred to above has been created using seed funding. An initial startup structure will be in place in Gaza shortly after the conclusion of the Cairo conference. Further funding is now required in order to enable a scaling up of this support to the GRM.
b. In addition to the US$ 500 million that the UN has or was in the process of implementing in advance of the conflict this summer, a further approval of US$ 100m was received in September 2014.
c. In keeping with the agreement, construction material is expected to enter the Gaza Strip shortly to support repairs of damaged homes and private property — a priority area.