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East Jerusalem, 04 June 2021 – The Government of Japan announced a contribution of US$3 million to the United Nations Development Programme for damage assessment and removal of rubble in hard-hit areas of the Gaza Strip.

The Government of Japan’s contribution will enable UNDP to clear over 40 percent (110,000 tons) of the rubble generated during the eleven days of hostilities on the Gaza Strip. The project is anticipated to generate approximately 11,000 work days over a period of six months.

A statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan stated that “Japan will continue to play an active role, including in providing urgent assistance and supporting reconstruction efforts in the Gaza Strip. The Emergency Grant Aid of US$10 million will provide humanitarian and reconstruction assistance such as food provision, debris removal, water and sanitation, as well as medical and health care including measures against COVID-19, through UNDP, UNRWA, UNOCHA and ICRC”.

The removal of rubble will allow people to regain access to basic services, reduce the risk of buildings collapsing on them, and protect them from threat of UXOs and other remnants of war. During the project, residential, public, commercial, and industrial buildings that have been totally or severely damaged and deemed unsafe will be dismantled, and the debris from major roads and public areas will be cleared. The rubble, once safely removed, will be transported to the landfill for ‘non-concrete debris’, or to the designated crushing site to be recycled and used for road rehabilitation.

UNDP welcomed the initiative by the Government of Japan to be the first donor country to contribute with US$2.8 million out of approximately US$6.1 million to the rubble removal project in the Gaza Strip.

“Gaza’s needs are enormous especially that the current crisis comes after fourteen years of an imposed blockade that has accelerated the de-development of Gaza, and has taken away the hope of a meaningful future,” said Yvonne Helle, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator. “UNDP is committed to Gaza’s reconstruction and clearing the rubble is a prerequisite for the rebuilding and recovery process to take place”.

UNDP was also entrusted with US$200,000 from the Japan Endowment Fund to conduct a comprehensive assessment of damages to key infrastructure including housing, health and education facilities, public and social infrastructure. This will enable the United Nations and its partners to assess recovery needs, design and  implement coordinated interventions.

“Gazans are a resilient people.  But their livelihoods have been deteriorating over many years, and just as they were trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the hostilities have devastated their hope of providing for their families.” said Chitose Noguchi, UNDP Head of the Gaza sub-office who was in Gaza during the crisis.

The May 2021 crisis resulted in the destruction of over 2000 houses and damage to 58 educational facilities, nine hospitals, transportation and energy networks as well as water and sanitation facilities. UNDP is supporting the resilience of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip through emergency employment, recovery of basic services, and rehabilitation and reconstruction of homes and essential infrastructure.

For further information, please contact:

Dania Darwish, Partnerships and Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: dania.darwish@undp.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.ps.undp.org.