International donors fail to deliver promised aid to Gaza

In the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge, international donors pledged billions of dollars in aid to help rebuild Gaza.

April 13, 2015 04:42
1 minute read.

A Palestinian man walks atop the remains of a house that witnesses said was destroyed by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer, in the southern Gaza Strip, March 10. (photo credit: REUTERS)

According to a new report, only a quarter of the promised $3.5bn pledged to help rebuild Gaza after last summer's war between Hamas and Israel has been delivered.

A report released Monday by The Association of International Development Agencies stated that only 26.8 percent ($945m) of the promised aid pledged by donors at a conference in Cairo six months ago had reached the coastal enclave, and the reconstruction effort to help rebuild the battered strip has barely just begun.

"The promising speeches at the donor conference have turned into empty words," said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam and one of report's signatories, according to al-Jazeera.

"There has been little rebuilding, no permanent ceasefire agreement and no plan to end the blockade. The international community is walking with eyes wide open into the next avoidable conflict, by upholding the status quo they themselves said must change."

Operation Protective Edge, the 50 day military campaign launched against Hamas last year, destroyed more than 10,000 homes and left over 17,000 families homeless.

In the wake of the war's aftermath, donors from the international community convened in Cairo to offer financial assistance in hopes of helping the Palestinian government rebuild Gaza.

Yet, some international donors have been hesitant to disburse their reconstruction pledges due to the tense relationship between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, who have bickered over control of Gaza's border crossings. The plethora of other crises in the region, which also require donor attention, has further stalled the delivery of aid, al-Jazeera adds.

"The paradox is that the lack of reconstruction is exacerbating the potential for conflict," according to the AIDA report. "By refraining from releasing funds due to fear of political instability in Gaza, donors are entrenching divides that heighten instability."

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