Thu, 10 Mar 2022 - 01:25 GMT
Thu, 10 Mar 2022 - 01:25 GMT
FILE - Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Philippe Lazzarini - UNRWA
CAIRO – 10 March 2022: Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Philippe Lazzarini hailed Egypt’s role in supporting the agency and reconstructing Gaza.
In remarks to Egypt Today during his visit to Egypt, Lazzarini said Egypt is one of the agency’s largest partners, adding that the UNRWA is communicating with the Egyptian government regarding the Gaza reconstruction and how this can endorse efforts of supporting Palestinian refugees.
“Egypt is a big defender of the Palestinian refugees and a large supporter of the UNRWA,” Lazzarini said, adding that Egypt also helped the agency communicate with other governments to maintain their support.
In November, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry affirmed the need for providing sustainable financing for UNRWA's programs and continuing indispensable contributions to the agency by international donors.
The top Egyptian diplomat made the remarks as he participated via video-conference in the International Ministerial Conference on the UNRWA held in Brussels.
Shoukry shed light on the UNRWA's vital role in offering basic services to millions of Palestinian refugees since its establishment in 1949, the spokesman added.
He emphasized Egypt's support for the UNRWA's efforts, hailing the joint call by Jordan and Sweden to convene this important conference.
The foreign minister also stressed the need to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, in pursuit of the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state, in a manner that achieves a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
In December, The Egyptian National Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip launched the second phase of reconstructing the destroyed places in the strip.
The second phase plan was announced in a conference held at al-Mashtal hotel in the strip, in the presence of representatives of the Palestinian government and factional delegations.
The reconstruction projects come under the directives of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, said the director of the Gaza Reconstruction projects Amr Aref at the conference.
The first phase was removing 85,000 cubic meters of debris and rubbles of buildings that were destroyed during the Israeli-Gaza war, the committee said, added that the second phase includes six projects, namely the development of Gaza Corniche, residential communities: Dar Misr 1 (al-Zahra city), Dar Misr 2 (Jabalia city), and Dar Misr 3 (Beit Lahia city). In addition to establishing two bridges.
In May 2021, the Israeli aggression caused financial casualties estimated at $450 million, demolishing nearly 1,650 housing units totally, and more than 60,000 housing units partially, said Undersecretary of the Ministry of Works in Gaza, Naji Sarhan, at the conference.
The direct damages in other sectors of infrastructure and economic, agricultural, educational and health facilities were estimated at about $150 million, he added.
The cost of the national plan for the reconstruction of Gaza, which was adopted at the 2014 Cairo Conference is about $3.9 billion, he said, adding that the donor states pledged at the Cairo Conference amounted to $5 billion dollars, but the amount received was nearly $900 million, representing 26% of the pledges.
“We would like to confirm that the directive of the [Egyptian] political leadership for the reconstruction of Gaza is to use Palestinian labor and contractors to start the reconstruction process,” the committee said at the conference.