The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and UN-HABITAT on Monday signed an agreement for the reconstruction of 100 homes destroyed in Israeli attacks in the Gaza strip during a 22-day conflict that ended 18 January.
The Memorandum of Understanding would see the Saudi government commit USD 7.6 million USD towards the project, from the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques Campaign for the Relief of the Palestinians in Gaza. The project will be executed by UN-HABITAT.
The contribution is intended to empower families whose homes were razed in the Israeli attacks.
Mohamed El Sioufi, Head of the Shelter Branch and the Coordinator of the Special Human Settlements Programme for the Palestinian People, represented Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director, UN-HABITAT at the signing ceremony.
He thanked Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Interior, and Head of the Saudi Campaign for Relief of Palestinian People in Gaza, represented by his Advisor, Dr. Sa’ad Al Al-Orabi Al-Harthi, for the support to the Palestinian people and for funding the project to be implemented by UN-HABITAT.
At the ceremony, UN-HABITAT pledged to set up systems that allow for the effective and efficient reconstruction utilizing the grants. Learning from a similar rebuilding experience after the July 2006 Israeli bombing campaign in southern Lebanon, the agency said that the present project would apply principles of empowerment of the communities affected, as well as the municipalities in managing the reconstruction process.
Technical offices will be established to support local institutions and enable them to advise individuals on the technical and engineering requirements of proper rebuilding.
In his speech, Dr. Al-Harthi cited the importance of the donations given by Saudi individuals for humanitarian causes globally. He added that the programme is within the framework of the humanitarian and developmental role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to benefit the Palestinian people.