Gaza, March 1, 2009 --World Bank Managing Director, Juan Jose Daboub, concluded today, a one-day visit to Gaza, the first visit of this level from the Bank since 2005. Joining him were A. David Craig, Country Director for West Bank and Gaza and key Bank staffers.
The World Bank delegation visited the Beit Lahia wastewater treatment plant infiltration basins, the industrial zone and Izbet Abou Rebou neighborhood in East Jabaliya and the Al Wafa hospital in the Sheja’ia neighborhood of Gaza City, all of which have suffered serious damages in the recent invasion. Despite these damages, health facilities continued to operate throughout the hostility period. This is due to the high level of commitment from staff and the funding made available for through the Emergency Services Support Project (ESSP) that provided fuel and other basic necessities to these health facilities. The delegation also met with counterparts implementing World Bank financed projects, including the NGO Development Center, the Municipal Development and Lending Fund and the Ministries of Finance, Social Affairs and Local Government.
Over the past few weeks, the World Bank's technical team, in cooperation with other donors, contributed to the Gaza damage assessment led by the PA. "The purpose of our visit is to discuss with Palestinians on the ground prospects for immediate recovery and ways in which the Bank group can help," said Mr. Daboub.
Following the visit to Gaza, the delegation departed to Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt to participate in the International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy for the Reconstruction of Gaza, that is co-hosted by Egypt and Norway. At the conference, Mr. Daboub will present the Bank’s report “Fund Channeling Options for Early Recovery and Beyond: a World Bank Perspective.”
"Our commitment to supporting the people of Gaza in restoring services and reviving economic opportunities remains strong," said Mr. Daboub. "The recovery agenda is overwhelming and the basic needs of all Palestinians need to be fulfilled. We stand ready to collaborate with our partners in development to deliver such assistance."