The president of the Qatari National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, Mohammad al-Amadi, announced the launch of a number of new projects for the Gaza Strip on Saturday.
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Speaking during a tour of Gaza, Amadi said the third phase of reconstruction of Salah-al-Din and Al-Rashid streets would soon start, as well as construction on a new neighborhood, to be named for the Qatari Prince Hamad bin Khalifa, and another neighborhood for released prisoners.
According to official figures from the Gaza Strip, 16,000 homes were completely destroyed during last summer's war and another approximately 90,000 were partially destroyed. The renovation of the partially destroyed homes is moving ahead, albeit very slowly, though tens of thousands have already received the required building materials. In Gaza, the expectation is that the process will move ahead more quickly in the coming months.
Amadi explained that his government will begin construction on 1,000 housing units and that 300 families had already received permits to rebuild. The Qatari official added that his committee had managed to overcome bureaucratic obstacles and an agreement has been reached with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to bring construction materials into the Gaza Strip more quickly.
However, Gaza is still suffering from a very high unemployment rate and severe economic distress, with tens of thousands of families economically unable to reconstruct their homes.
An example of the economic straits can be seen in a recent response to job openings announced at UNRWA schools throughout the Strip – 27,000 people applied for 200 openings.
A teacher’s salary at an UNRWA school is considered relatively high for the Gaza Strip – approximately $1,000 a month.