JERUSALEM, Thursday, December 09, 2021 (WAFA) – The Government of Sweden, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People signed today a contribution agreement worth $5.7 million in support of Gaza’s early recovery efforts following the May 2021 Israeli aggression.
The Gaza Early Recovery Program aims to restore access to essential services, decent livelihoods for the Gaza population, and to ensure safe housing and living conditions for internally displaced and vulnerable non-refugee and refugee households whose homes have been destroyed or damaged as a result of the Israeli aggression.
Through the Swedish support, the program will provide urgent assistance to the most vulnerable households in the Gaza Strip by securing much-needed job opportunities and providing shelter support for refugees and non-refugees.
Informed by the economic and infrastructure damage assessments carried out by UNDP following the May 2021 aggression, the program will focus on four key components, namely debris management, Temporary Shelter Cash Assistance (TSCA), immediate partial rehabilitation of housing and short-term dignified jobs for livelihood restoration.
“This really is a great example of partnership between UN agencies working as one to serve the people of Gaza and made possible by the leadership and support of SIDA,” said Director of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza, Mr Thomas White.
Through this Swedish contribution, the program will create dignified short-term job opportunities for 525 people and provide access to e-work opportunities to another 120 youth in Gaza.
In addition, 1,000 refugee families who were displaced from their dwellings during the May 2021 Israeli aggression will receive support in the form of Transitional Shelter Cash Assistance through UNRWA. Taking into consideration family size and current socio-economic status, the program will prioritize women-headed households and persons with disabilities and provide them with cash assistance to address their accommodation needs.
The funding to the Gaza Early Recovery Program would respond to most acute needs in a way that fosters early recovery and strengthens the resilience of the conflict-affected people in the Gaza Strip, the UNRWA said.
“More specifically, supporting livelihood and income restoration for affected people would prevent them from falling into poverty and multi-dimensional deprivation, while simultaneously reducing reliance on TSCA,” read an UNRWA statement.
The signing ceremony, which took place on Tuesday 07 December 2021 was attended by Göran Paulsson, Head of Sweden’s Development Cooperation, Deputy Director of UNRWA Operations in the West Bank, Kate O’Rourk, and Yvonne Helle, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator.