"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
This document has been prepared by the Palestinian National Authority’s Ministry of Planning with support from all line ministries, UN agencies, the EC, the World Bank and other partners. This plan will be used to consolidate resources and responses to help the Palestinian people in Gaza rebuild their lives and livelihoods, and as such will form the basis for mobilizing resources and efforts at the international conference in Egypt on March 2, 2009 and provide the guiding framework for all early recovery and reconstruction interventions.
The first section of the document provides an overview of the situation in Gaza after Israel’s three-week military offensive, and sets out how the plan to address it was formulated. The plan is the result of consultations and coordination with government institutions and numerous local and international partners, and it delineates responsibility for following up the planning and coordination processes in the implementation phase. The Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan will be explicitly linked to the key national policy priorities as outlined in the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP), and will consequently be complementary to the Palestinian National Authority’s existing efforts to alleviate poverty through increasing employment and revitalizing the economy.
The Gaza Early Recovery Rapid Needs Assessment forms the backbone of the plan, underpinning both the early recovery projects and the medium-to- longer term reconstruction interventions. Conducted by PNA Ministries and Agencies with the support of local and international partners, it uses the situation prior to 27th December 2008 as a baseline but contextualizes it within the experience of Israel’s long and continuing blockade of Gaza. It is worth noting that while the PNA views as urgent the need to assist our people to rebuild their lives as quickly and efficiently as possible, and we look to the world to help us, we hold Israel responsible for the injury and damage it has caused in Gaza.
In the social sector, the plan documents how Gaza’s emergency and primary health care systems were overstretched and under-supported during the Israeli offensive, and many medical facilities sustained severe damage. Border closures have prevented the flow of crucial medical supplies and the transfer of high risk medical cases, and the capacity to respond rapidly to emergency cases has been significantly diminished. Numerous education establishments, from kindergarten to university level, also suffered extensive damage. Primary caregivers have had trouble providing the most basic human security even for themselves, and many were killed or injured in the offensive. The lack of access to basic commodities further compounds the problems facing vulnerable people, particularly children and young people, whose psycho- social well-being was also considerably worsened by the Israeli assault. The social safety sector has been particularly affected, and a number of orphanages, disability centers and service centers for vulnerable persons have been damaged. More importantly, the number of poor, unsheltered persons, disabled, orphans, and female headed households has increased, which places additional burdens on the remaining social safety network. Mosques, cultural institutions and historic buildings also suffered extensive damage in the indiscriminate bombardment. Total needs in the social sector arising from the Israeli assault amount to $315 million.
Essential infrastructure sustained severe damage during the Israeli bombardment and invasion, and $502 million is required to repair it. The assault severely impacted the provision of basic services, and humanitarian and recovery assistance to the affected population. Large areas have been reduced to rubble, with 15,000 houses damaged or destroyed, and extensive disruption caused to water and sanitation networks, energy supplies and facilities, roads and bridges, and the telecommunications system.
The plan documents the severe effects of the Israeli attack on Gaza’s already-weakened economy. The agriculture sector was severely affected, with the widespread destruction of cultivated land, greenhouses, livestock and poultry farms, water wells, irrigation networks and other productive assets. 14.6% of the total cultivated area was completely destroyed, and with many families also losing their homes and livelihoods, this will have a negative impact on food security. Much of the remaining capital stock and employment opportunities were also destroyed, and the economy will only be able to recover after the blockade is lifted, liquidity returns to the financial system, and the overall macroeconomic environment is stabilized. The plan requests $412 million in support for the private sector in Gaza.
In terms of governance, the plan documents how the majority of citizens in Gaza witnessed a breakdown in channels for public decision-making, protection, and human rights. The civil society sector was also severely damaged, leading to social fragmentation and a collapse of civilian structures. In addition, many families were displaced, household bread-winners were killed, and people were imprisoned without recourse to legal aid. The assault also resulted in the destruction of physical infrastructure used by local authorities for public administration purposes, as well as the displacement or death of civil servants. As a result, normal governmental functions such as administrating social services have been considerably retarded or entirely disrupted, and $68 million is required for improvements in this sector.