This immediate assistance will improve the health and environmental conditions and provide better access to damaged areas. It comes as part of a UNDP/PAPP larger scale assistance for both towns that will be provided through cooperation and coordination with the Palestinian Authority central and local authorities. PAPP will also be coordinating with the other donors and international agencies to implement critically important projects in the fields of municipal infrastructure rehabilitation and replanting of the destroyed farms.
UNDP/PAPP estimates that it would take at least US$ 5 millions that are urgently needed to reconstruct and repair the damage to infrastructure.
Dr. Jehad Al-Wazir, Deputy Minister of Planning who accompanied the joint tour for the UNDP and the two municipalities to the targeted areas in Jabalia and Beit Lahia, welcomed the UNDP quick intervention and endorsed the UNDP approach of rehabilitating the damaged essential municipal infrastructure services.
Both Mr. Khalil Samara, the Mayor of Jabalia and Mr. Mohammad Al-Masri, the Mayor of Beit Lahia, expressed their gratitude for the UNDP emergency assistance as "it has been the first international organization that provided financial assistance to reconstruct the destructed municipal infrastructure services facilities, since the Israeli withdrawal less than two days ago." They appealed to the international community to provide financial assistance to cover sectors other than the damaged municipal infrastructure that has been covered by UNDP. "The private housing and agricultural properties and industrial businesses have been severely affected and also need urgent assistance," asserted the Mayors.
Mr. Timothy Rothermel, the Special Representative of UNDP, expressed his sympathy with the families of the 129 resident who were killed, most of whom are children, and the more than 400 wounded. "UNDP is providing this support to help the Municipalities of Jabalia and Beit Lahia rebuild the damaged infrastructure services and facilities, but there is still much to be done in the area." Mr. Rothermel said. "I hope that the international community will quickly rise to the occasion and support the residents of the targeted areas get back to lead a normal life. UNDP will seek additional financial support to supplement this initial quick response" added Rothermel.
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