'de-development spiral' of Gaza Strip by Israelis
UNITED NATIONS: (APP) UN agencies have called for an end to what they describe as the Gaza Strip's "de-development spiral", in a report marking the second anniversary of the ceasefire that ended Israeli 'Operation Protective Edge' in which more than 2,000 Palestinians were killed and thousands more maimed and wounded.
In a statement released Friday, 16 heads of United Nations agencies in Palestine call for the "uninterrupted and predictable flow of material and increased funding to address humanitarian needs and boost economic prospects for Gaza's 1.9 million residents."
"We must reverse Gaza's de-development trajectory and address the needs of a population that has gone through three rounds of conflict, nine years of an Israeli blockade and the consequences of the Palestinian internal divide which, combined, have affected every aspect of their daily lives," Robert Piper, the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory said.
The United Nations considers 'de-development' a process by which development is not merely hindered but reversed.
The release added that the UN operational agencies working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, constituting the UN Country Team (UNCT) in Palestine, issued a new report which outlines the collective progress made in the last two years as well as some of the remaining challenges in the recovery and reconstruction efforts following the 2014 hostilities.
Piper, who is also the Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process said that accountability for violations of international law by duty bearers on both sides during the war also remained elusive, "denying victims and survivors the justice and redress they deserve."
The statement also added that according to UN estimates, about half of the homes which suffered partial damages and a third of those destroyed have been rebuilt.
Additionally, all of the 78 hospitals and clinics, and the 252 schools that were damaged have been repaired and that the reconstruction of health and education infrastructure that were fully destroyed is ongoing.
The progress has been made due to ongoing efforts by Palestinian government, UN agencies, non-government organizations, international donor community, private sector and above all, the households themselves.
On October 2014, donors pledged US$ 3.5 billion to support Gaza. According to the World Bank, only an estimated 40 percent had been disbursed by April this year.