International community must do more to support Gaza reconstruction, say aid agencies

(Photo: REUTERS / Ronen Zvulun)

The world is not doing enough to support the recovery of Gaza, say 46 aid agencies in a new report.

'Charting A New Course: Overcoming the stalemate in Gaza' warns of further conflict and destruction unless world leaders urgently address the underlying causes of unrest in the region.

Christian Aid and Oxfam are among the aid agencies behind the report, which calls for a permanent ceasefire and an end to the Israeli blockade.

Donors who pledged $3.5bn towards recovery in Gaza half a year ago come under criticism in the report for offering money while failing to put any pressure on Israel to lift the blockade.

The aid agencies also question why, six months after the money was pledged, none of the 19,000 destroyed homes in Gaza have been rebuilt, leaving 100,000 people in a state of homelessness.  

Most of the money pledged has also failed to materialize, with only 26.8 percent being released so far.  

The report warns that the blockade is further hampering construction efforts because there are restrictions on the shipment of essential material into Gaza.  

The aid agencies urged the international community to do more to speed up reconstruction, and ensure that essential materials are able to get through.

Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam, said: "The promising speeches at the donor conference have turned into empty words. 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."

William Bell of Christian Aid said: "We must ensure that this most recent and most devastating conflict was the last one. There must be consequences for continued violations. By facilitating a culture of impunity, the international community is committing itself to indefinitely picking up the pieces."

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