Rebuilding all of Gaza's destroyed homes could take 80 years, UN report says

Rebuilding all the homes destroyed by Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip could take until the next century if the pace of reconstruction matches that seen after the 2014 and 2021 wars, according to a United Nations report released Thursday.

Citing data from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the UN report said that as of April 15, around 370,000 homes in Gaza had been damaged, 79,000 of which had been destroyed. If the destroyed homes were rebuilt at the same rate at which they were rebuilt after the previous two wars – an average of 992 per year – it would take 80 years, according to projections in the report by the United Nations Development Program and the Office economic and social issues of the United Nations. Social Commission for West Asia.

The report details the socioeconomic impact of the war on the Palestinian population and states that “the level of destruction in Gaza is such that the assistance needed to rebuild would be on a scale not seen since 1948” to replace public infrastructure, including schools and hospitals.

The report says that even if Israel were to allow five times as much construction material into Gaza as it would after the 2021 war – “the most optimistic scenario” – rebuilding all the destroyed homes would still take time until 2040. The projection does not take into account the time needed to repair the hundreds of thousands of homes damaged but not destroyed.

The cost of rebuilding Gaza increases “exponentially” every day the fighting continues, Abdallah Al Dardari, director of UNDP's regional office for Arab states, said on a video call from Amman, Jordan, at a conference on Thursday. press.

Al Dardari said that before “some sort of normality” can be established for Palestinians in Gaza, some 37 million tons of debris must be removed to allow the construction of temporary shelters and, eventually, the reconstruction of homes.

The report also found that the unemployment rate for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza has risen to about 46 percent from about 26 percent after six months of war.

Over the course of these six months, poverty rates in the Palestinian territories have more than doubled, going from 26.7% to 57.2%. This means that 1.67 million Palestinians were pushed into poverty after the war began, the report said. His estimates were based on a poverty line of $6.85 a day.

The effects of the war on Palestinians both inside and outside Gaza “will be felt for years,” the report says.

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