Rafah rebuilding will cost $45 million

Nearly $45 million will be needed to re-house Palestinians made homeless by the Israeli army incursions in the Rafah area of southern Gaza, the UN's agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA said on Thursday.

    Families were made homeless during the Rafah incursions

    A total of 298 buildings were demolished and almost 3800 people made homeless last month in the biggest and most deadly occupation army offensive in the Gaza Strip since the September 2000 start of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, it said in a report.

    "UNRWA estimates that even if no further demolitions occur in Rafah, and if all current or planned housing schemes are completed, 1691 of the families eligible for UN housing will remain homeless unless additional funding and land is available to re-house them," the report said.

    Operation Rainbow was only the most recent in a string of raids in Rafah which the Israeli military has alleged are aimed at smashing a network of tunnels used to smuggle in weapons from under the border with Egypt.

    "Re-housing a family costs approximately $20,000.

    "If all the remaining homeless families were to be re-housed, the cost would be approximately $44.76m. UNRWA estimates the unfunded shortfall for re-housing eligible refugee families alone to be $35.05m."

    The report also warned that space to re-house these families was rapidly running out.

    "Re-housing a family costs approximately $20,000"

    UNRWA report

    But UNWRA later announced that its commissioner general Peter Hansen had reached agreement in talks on Thursday with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat for two tracts of land to be provided to build 400 homes for the Rafah refugees.

    The UNWRA chief secured funding pledges from the United Arab Emirates' Red Crescent Society on Monday to build 400 replacement homes, although the exact amount of the donation has yet to be finalised.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.