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NEWS / Middle East

Gaza donations fall way short of pledges

UN runs out of funds for relief efforts after just five percent of pledged donations reach Palestinian territory.

Only about five percent of money pledged to rebuild Gaza, after it was devastated by Israel's deadly assault last year, has reached Gaza, humanitarian news service IRIN has said.

A source at the office of the Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa, told IRIN on Monday that "approximately $300m" had been received for reconstruction efforts after $5.4bn had been pledged to assist relief efforts.

More than 2,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed during the Israeli incursion. At least 100,000 homes were destroyed. 

Countries around the globe had pledged $5.4bn at a conference held in Cairo in October 2014 for the reconstruction, development and aid process towards rebuilding Gaza.

Among the biggest pledges came from the Gulf. Qatar had promised around $1bn, while Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pledged $500 million and $200 million each, ahead of the conference. 

The Norwegian Foreign Minister, Boerge Brende, said the delay in delivering on the pledges was linked to the drop in oil prices.

Earlier in February, Egypt, and Norway urged donors to keep their promises and to fulfil their pledges after the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said in late January it had "exhausted all funding to support repairs and rental subsidies" in Gaza.

Six months after a ceasefire was signed, families were still staying in temporary facilities, the UN said.

The UN also said that virtually none of the promised aid had reached Gaza, describing the delay as "distressing and unacceptable".

"It is unclear why this funding has not been forthcoming," the UNRWA said.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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