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Source: United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
23 January 2009

UN-HABITAT extends a helping hand to Gaza

UN-HABITAT is to field a mission to Gaza to assess the damage and to take part in the early recovery programme as part of the larger UN assessment team which was initiated earlier this week by the UN Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon after his visit to the region.

In a statement issued in New York, the Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka said: “In line with UN-HABITAT’s technical mandate, the focus of this advance mission will be to focus on shelter and settlement recovery, basic infrastructure rehabilitation and to support to local authorities in managing post-conflict reconstruction. In fact, our Habitat Programme Managers on the ground are already taking part in the initial consultations.”

She concluded by committing UN-HABITAT to extending support and expertise to the Palestinian people in Gaza in order to help them overcome this humanitarian disaster.

The 22-day conflict claimed over 1,300 lives and wounded 5,450 as well as causing widespread suffering and destruction.

During his visit Mr. Ban Ki-moon said: “I have come to Gaza to see for myself the extent of the damage caused by the last three weeks of fighting and to demonstrate my solidarity with the population of Gaza and to assure you of the United Nations and the international community’s full support to help you overcome this difficulty.”

As a full member of the UN Inter-Agency Standing Committee on Humanitarian Affairs, UN-HABITAT’s contribution and response with regard to upcoming rehabilitation and reconstruction needs are fully integrated with the United Nations system efforts led by the Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA.

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