Six months after international donors pledged billions for rebuilding Gaza, the cash has not materialised, lives remain shattered and the desperate suffering goes on
Chris Gunness, director of advocacy and strategic communications for UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, writes movingly in the Guardian about the failure of the world donors to pay the money which was pledged to rebuild Gaza.
He tells the story of Jibril who lost two of his four grandchildren to hypothermia in the storms last month. The family now live in a tiny plastic-covered wooden structure in Beit Hanoun with a blanket for a door.
UNRWA planned a $720 million programme to give rental subsidies to people whose homes were uninhabitable. They hoped to give cash to people so they could repair and rebuild their houses. But the billions pledged did not materialise and the programme was left with a shortfall of nearly $600m.
You can read the full story by clicking here –The Guardian, Saturday 21st February. Photograph by: Belal Hasna
The UN estimates that some 540 children were killed in the conflict, many in their own homes. UNRWA could not provide safe sanctuary. Their schools took direct hits on seven occasions. Children died in and around classrooms and playgrounds under the blue UN flag. Almost every child in Gaza has a family member or friend who was killed, injured or maimed for life, often before their eyes. One thousand of the 3,000 children injured in the conflict are likely to have physical disabilities for the rest of their lives. Average power blackouts are 18 hours a day. Around 90% of all water in Gaza is undrinkable.