A year after the aggression, only 12%, the rate of reconstruction

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Works in Gaza, Eng. Naji Sarhan, confirmed that only 12% of the houses that were completely destroyed in last year’s aggression were reconstructed, noting that the reconstruction process is very slow.

In a media interview, Sarhan spoke about the problems of the contractors sector in Gaza and a problem related to the value of bids with the change in prices and the exchange rate.

year of aggression

Sarhan said that a year after the 2021 (Israeli) aggression on Gaza, little has been achieved, and what has been accomplished so far is 12% of the completely destroyed houses, and 70% of the partially damaged houses, describing the achievement as slow.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Works pointed out that repairs to infrastructure and agricultural facilities affected by last year’s aggression are almost zero.

He added that the number of completely destroyed houses increased by adding 500 housing units from partial to total, bringing the total number to 1,700, in reference to the number of houses that are in ruins.

Regarding the reconstruction process entrusted to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees (UNRWA), he said that it is very slow despite the availability of reconstruction funds.

Sarhan added, “We held dozens of meetings with UNRWA officials and engineers, and there were many promises to speed up construction, and they began distributing the first batch of 70 out of 700 homes.”

Speaking about the 2014 aggression file, he explained that 1,300 housing units were not reconstructed, and nearly 70,000 housing units were partially reconstructed, and we need $150 million to end this file.

He pointed out that there was a clear intention to delay the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, “and there are no real donors except Qatar and Egypt, and the latter worked in the infrastructure, not in the reconstruction.”

He noted that the State of Qatar has paid 10 million dollars so far between partial and complete reconstruction, and we hope that the amount will be greater.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Works revealed that there are repeated demands that the Arab Republic of Egypt should work to hold an international conference for the reconstruction and development of the Gaza Strip to urge donors to contribute to the reconstruction process.

He continued, “The Israeli occupation is pressuring the donors to delay the reconstruction process and disturbing the Palestinians by slowing down the reconstruction, as part of the siege policy imposed on the Strip.”

And he talked about the residential towers that are still without funding, stressing that their reconstruction will take place if funding is available, and there are promises in this file, but they are not yet implemented.

Contracting sector

Sarhan talked about the contracting sector in the Gaza Strip, saying that there are problems we face with the Contractors Union due to the change in the exchange rate of the dollar, the shekel, and the increase in the prices of building materials.

He added: “We are facing a problem in awarding bids at the lowest prices, which in turn leads to the contractors stumbling during implementation, and there are significant increases on most raw materials, most of which amounted to more than 30% and even higher fuel prices.”

He revealed that his ministry had recommended to the government, “to set up a new mechanism for awarding bids, and we are working with the Contractors Union to circulate it to all institutions operating in the sector.”

He pointed out that the study included price differences on the currency and the increase in materials for a certain percentage and other matters.

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