Gaza Strip, 13 February 2019 – As part of their continuous efforts to support the Palestinian people, and with the USD 10 million additional contribution from the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP/PAPP) signed today new agreements with 120 people, out of the 275, who will be benefiting from the repair and reconstruction of their homes that have been damaged following the Gaza 2014 hostilities. This brings the total SFD contribution to USD 71.5 million, benefiting approximately 13,195 families from the Gaza Strip.

Dr Naji Sarhan, Deputy Minister of Public Works and Housing, thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people, and the Saudi Fund for Development, for their generous support to the Palestinian people, and Gaza specifically. “This support comes at a critical time for the people of Gaza. We are doing our utmost at the Ministry to rebuild what has been destroyed and support the resilience of the Palestinian population in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip,” he added.

The USD 10 million contribution will cover the rehabilitation and reconstruction of about 275 totally damaged houses for Palestinian non-refugees affected by the 2014 hostilities in the Gaza Strip. So far, around 11,913 partial, 444 severe and 563 totally damaged homes were rebuilt with support from the Government of Saudi Arabia through the Saudi Fund for Development, in addition to the rehabilitation and furnishing of five playgrounds, one cultural centre, and three non-governmental schools.

Housing Hope in Gaza with Support from Saudi Fund for Development

“We are proud of the continuous partnership and trust with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Fund for Development. The ceremony today is another example of the joint efforts made by UNDP and UNRWA to support the resilience of the Gaza population. By the end of this year, the total number of housing units rehabilitated will reach 13,194,” said Roberto Valent, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator. “The 120 families we are signing agreements with today will finally have a home to get back to and live in dignity, ” he added.

The self-help modality will be used during the project, where families will be provided with support to rebuild their homes and indirectly improve their livelihoods. The programme will prioritize female-headed households and will take into consideration family size and current socio-economic status of targeted population.

As part of the agreement, UNDP will make available its technical resources to implement the project activities. UNRWA will administer the grant and be involved in monitoring of the project, based on its vast experience in the Gaza Strip.

The ceremony was attended by Dr Naji Sarhan, Deputy Minister of Public Works and Housing; UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator Mr Roberto Valent, Engineer Rafiq Abed, Head of Infrastructure Unit at UNRWA; in addition to Mukhtar Husni Al Moghani and the 120 home owners benefiting from the programme.

It is worth noting that the 51-day hostilities has resulted in the destruction of over 18,000 housing units, leaving approximately 100,000 people homeless. UNDP, in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Works and Housing and the Palestinian Contractors Union, conducted a damage assessment targeting the non-refugee population. The results of the assessment indicate that 31,297 non-refugee housing units were damaged. 3,452 housing units sustained total damage, while 1,509 were severely damaged and 26,336 were partially damaged. UNRWA conducted the same assessment amongst the refugee population. The UNRWA shelter assessment confirmed 142,071 Palestine refugee houses as impacted during the 2014 hostilities; 9,117 of them were considered totally destroyed. Around 5,417 shelters suffered severe, 3,700 major and 123,837 minor damages.

For further information, please contact:

Ms Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail:dania.darwish@undp.org or Shahd El-Swerki in Gaza at Tel. +972-8-2822167 – e-mail:shahd.el-swerki@undp.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP seehttp://www.ps.undp.org.