In July 2014, the Israeli military launched a sustained assault on Gaza. For seven weeks, Gaza was invaded and bombarded from land, sea and air. The human loss was great: at least 2,145 people were killed, including 581 children. One in four Palestinians in Gaza was forced to flee, and over 60,000 houses were partially or completely destroyed. Public services were devastated, creating scarcity of water, energy, food and shelter. Agriculture, industry and trade are at a standstill, leaving ever more Gaza residents without a livelihood.
This devastating assault follows decades of occupation and border closures that have left people in Gaza isolated, impoverished and vulnerable. Gaza was already in the grip of a humanitarian and environmental crisis before the assault began. A seven-year blockade and military operations had suffocated the private sector, creating widespread dependency: 80 percent of Gaza residents were already dependent on aid, 47 percent were food insecure and 40 percent were unemployed. Before the most recent assault, there was already a deficit of over 71,000 housing units, in addition to poor health services and overcrowded schools.
In the aftermath of the armed conflict, the collection, evaluation and dissemination of damage data is critical for a timely and accurate early recovery planning and implementation. Accordingly, a Higher Inter-Ministerial Committee was formed by the Cabinet of Ministers on 30 July 2014 to oversee the preparation of the National Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan for Gaza. The Committee was assisted by a Technical Team composed of representatives of 20 ministries and Government institutions working closely with international organizations, donor countries and the private sector.
The National Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan for Gaza was presented in the donor conference in Cairo in October and is based on a preliminary infrastructure damage assessment, which was conducted by line ministries in coordination with the Ministry of Planning and Administrative Development (MOPAD). Rapid assessments of damage and recommendations for top priority immediate interventions, as well as broader recovery and rehabilitation interventions, were prepared across the four key sectors, in accordance with the National Development Plan: Social Sector; Infrastructure Sector; Economic Sector; and Governance Sector.
In order to verify the preliminary infrastructure damage assessment findings and to further inform on the actual damages, the Higher Inter-Ministerial Committee tasked UNDP to conduct a Detailed Infrastructure Damage Assessment in collaboration with line ministries, UNRWA, UNOSAT and WFP.
The Assessment has shown that the most affected communities are located to the Eastern side of Salah Al Deen regional road. The areas with concentrated damages during the hostilities were A) Beit Hanoun, Umm Al Nasser, East Jabalia and Beit Lahia in Northern Gaza; B) Shijaiya and Al Zaitoon neighbourhoods in addition to multi-storeyed buildings in different neighbourhoods in Gaza City; C) Al-Maghazi, Nusairat and Al-Bureij Camps, Johr Al Deek and Deir Al Balah in the middle area; D) Khuza’a, Al Zanna, Al Qarara and Bani Suhaila; and E) East Rafah.1
1 See Annex 1