Smoke rises in Egypt's North Sinai as seen from the border of southern Gaza Strip with Egypt July 1, 2015. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Donor countries must make good on their pledges for $1.48 billion in assistance for the Gaza Strip, Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende said as the conclusion of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting in Brussels.
“There was a strong reminder from the group here today that all the pledges made at the Cairo Conference of 2014, when it comes to reconstruction in Gaza have to be met.
“There were a lot of pledges.Countries have to comply because even if there has been progress in Gaza there is still a job to do when it comes to rebuilding,” said Brende, who chairs the AHLC.
In October 2014, donor countries have pledged $3.5b. to help reconstruct Gaza, but according to a World Bank report prepared for the AHLC meeting, $1.48b. of that sum had yet to be paid.
The 15-member committee coordinates assistance for the PA under the co-sponsorship of the US and the EU with the World Bank as the secretariat. Its membership includes: Canada, Egypt, the IMF, Japan, Jordan, the UN, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.
Brende said AHLC has an important role to play to ensure the governing capacity of the Palestinian Authority so it can provide services such as health and education for its people. This is particularly significant at a time when there is no peace process in place to ensure the creation of a two-state solution, he said.
“It underlined the importance of sound fiscal policy on the PA side” and “on Israel to make sure that the PA has the necessary means to increase its own revenues and to create the necessary businesses, also in Area C.”
Brende called for the resumption of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Until then, the AHLC will ensure that conversation between the two sides will continue on issues such as taxation and increased economic opportunity, Brende said.