Press release, 12.10.2014
High level conference in Cairo: USD 5.4 billion to Palestine
A total of USD 5.4 billion in assistance to Palestine was pledged at today’s international donor conference for Gaza and Palestine. ‘This solid result demonstrates massive international support for the Palestinian people. It sends a strong signal that the world is standing together to rebuild Gaza. We expect that Israel will do its part to reverse its access restrictions on Gaza, so that the assistance actually reaches the civilian population, and the society can be rebuilt,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
Nearly 90 countries and international organisations met today in Cairo to mobilise support for Palestine and the reconstruction of Gaza. The conference was hosted by Norway and Egypt along with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. About half of the funds will go to the reconstruction of Gaza and the other half to development needs in the rest of Palestine, and to the Palestinian Authority.
‘About 80 000 homes are completely or partially in ruins after the bloody summer in Gaza that killed over 2 200 people,’ said Mr Brende. ‘The Palestinian Government must begin the reform process to ensure that there is a single responsible authority for all of Palestine and to take responsibility for rebuilding Gaza. It’s vital that Israel and the Palestinians cooperate on the new UN mechanism for bringing in essential goods and materials.’
This was the third war in Gaza in six years. Norway and the other contributors at the conference emphasised that Israel and the Palestinians must take new political measures to prevent another Gaza war. They must demonstrate a willingness to engage in genuine negotiations to find lasting solutions to the underlying conflict between the two peoples, including a two-state solution.
Norway will increase its assistance by an additional NOK 95 million this year for the reconstruction of Gaza. That will bring total Norwegian assistance to Palestine to NOK 885 million in 2014.