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UN Urges World Donors to Fulfill Gaza Pledges

United Nations, February 19 (RHC)-- The United Nations has urged international pledged donors to deliver on their promises of financial assistance to the Gaza Strip that was ravaged by Israel’s 50-day onslaught last summer. Speaking at the Security Council meeting on the Middle East on Wednesday, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said pledged donors that participated in the Cairo conference on October 12, 2014, and promised USD 5.4 billion "have yet to fulfill the vast majority of their pledges."

"This is, quite frankly, unacceptable, and cannot continue if we hope to avoid another escalation in Gaza," he noted. The senior UN official added: "Failure to deliver the necessary support is putting an almost unbearable strain on an already highly fractious environment."

The latest Israeli war on the Gaza Strip, which started on July 8, ended on August 26 with a truce that took effect after indirect negotiations in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. Nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children, were killed in the Israeli onslaught. Over 11,100 others - including 3,374 children, 2,088 women and 410 elderly people - were also injured.

Some 100,000 people are still homeless in the besieged sliver with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) cautioning that cutting subsidies to displaced people who are now renting alternative accommodation could force large numbers back to UN schools and centers, which are already home to 12,000 people.

It is estimated that as many as 400 trucks, delivering building materials from concrete to machinery, are needed every day for the reconstruction process. However, only around 75 trucks have made deliveries so far. At that rate, the Popular Committee for Monitoring the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip says that it will take at least twenty years to rebuild Gaza.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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