Sweden, through UNDP, to support cash assistance programme for displaced population in Gaza
Gaza, 03 December 2014 – The Government of Sweden and UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People announced a USD 3.4 million contribution to fund cash assistance packages for non-refugees as part of their on-going support to early recovery efforts in the Gaza Strip.
“This contribution is another concrete Swedish support to the people of Gaza after this summer’s devastating war”, said Sweden’s Consul General in Jerusalem, Ms Ann-Sofie Nilsson. “Sweden is already supporting removal of rubble as a first step in the reconstruction process, and now we are contributing to alleviate the shelter situation, which I have seen during my visits that it is urgent”, she continued.
Palestinian non-refugee families whose homes have been damaged and destroyed during the 51-day conflict in the Gaza Strip will receive cash assistance to address their accommodation needs.
Taking into consideration family size and current socio-economic status, the Swedish contribution will target more than 1500 families, over a period of six months and will prioritize female-headed households and families residing in schools.
“The cash assistance programme will immediately empower displaced and vulnerable families to rebuild their lives,” said Narjess Saidane, UNDP Deputy Special Representative. “Displaced families in Gaza are facing harsh living conditions during this winter season. UNDP, in partnership with the Palestinian National Consensus Government, is committed to supporting the Gaza population face these challenges,” she added.
The project will complement UNDP’s recovery efforts in the Gaza Strip to help the Palestinian population restore their livelihoods, create jobs and sustain a living. UNDP’s response to the crisis also includes emergency employment, rubble removal, repairing essential infrastructure, restoring solid waste services and providing institutional support towards a unified civil service and institutional harmonization.
It is worth noting that prior to the latest escalation, the Gaza Strip was suffering from a deficit of over 81,000 housing units, in addition to poor health services and overcrowded schools. Unemployment rates reached as high as 40% according to official statistics. Around 65% of the population were assessed as living in poverty and up to 50% in absolute poverty.
UNDP: Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.ps.undp.org.
Consulate General of Sweden: Karin Gatt Rutter, Senior Advisor, Tel. +972-2-6465865 – e-mail:email@example.com.