Gaza: the cost of reconstruction estimated between 30 and 40 billion dollars, according to the UN

Gaza: the cost of reconstruction estimated between 30 and 40 billion dollars, according to the UN
Gaza: the cost of reconstruction estimated between 30 and 40 billion dollars, according to the UN

The UN estimated on Thursday between 30 and 40 billion dollars the cost of rebuilding the Gaza Strip, ravaged for almost seven months by a devastating war between Israel and Palestinian Hamas, due to the unprecedented scale of the destruction. .

“The estimates of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to rebuild everything in the Gaza Strip exceed $30 billion, possibly going up to $40 billion,” said Abdallah al-Dardari, director of the office. Regional Director for the Arab States of the UNDP, during a press conference in Amman.

“The scale of the destruction is enormous and unprecedented (…) This is a mission that the international community has not faced since the Second World War,” said Mr. Dardari, also under-secretary general. of ONU.

He indicated that “discussions took place regarding financing (of reconstruction) with Arab countries”, reporting “extremely positive signals”, without giving further details.

He added that if Gaza’s reconstruction were to be carried out through the traditional process, “it could take decades, and the Palestinian people do not have the luxury of waiting” for that long.

“It is therefore important that we act quickly to rehouse people in decent housing and restore their normal economic, social, health and educational lives. This is our top priority, and it must be achieved within the first three years after the cessation of hostilities. »

In addition, he estimated the total rubble accumulated following the bombings and explosions at “37 million tons”. “We are talking about a colossal number, and this number is increasing every day. The latest data indicates that it is already approaching 40 million tonnes.”

Fall of GDP

The UN official also specified that “72% of all residential buildings had been completely or partially destroyed”.

Also, “human development in Gaza, in all its aspects, including health, education, economy and infrastructure, has declined by 40 years. Forty years of effort and investment have gone up in smoke.”

“Reconstruction must be carefully planned, efficient and extremely flexible, because we do not know how the war will end” and what type of governance will be established in the Gaza Strip, he said.

Mr. Dardari underlined the importance of preparation in advance to be able to act as soon as hostilities end. “We must be ready to provide decent temporary housing, clear the rubble and deal with the thousands of bodies lying under the rubble.”

The UNDP estimates in a report published Thursday that the war is expected to result in a loss of 26.9% of GDP for the entire Palestinian Territories in 2024, compared to initial projections by the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics.

Before the war began on October 7, Palestinian growth was forecast at 3.5% in 2023, but the year ended with a recession of 5.5% – a difference almost entirely due to the collapse of the Gazan economy, which shrank by more than 90% over the last three months of the year.

The occupied West Bank is also affected, its economy falling by 18.8% in the last quarter of 2023 compared to the same period a year earlier.

“The devastating war in Gaza will bring an economic and social cost for future generations that will hamper post-war recovery and development throughout the occupied Palestinian territories,” the report added.

Life expectancy across the Palestinian territories has fallen by four years and could even fall by seven years if the war lasts three more months.

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