Israel has approved 130 requests for projects in the Gaza Strip, which are in various stages of implementation.
Communicated by COGAT (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories)
Some facts to remember:
• There is no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
• The growth rate in the Gaza Strip in 2010 was 15%, according to the latest International Monetary Fund report.
• Israel permits all goods to enter the Gaza Strip, with the exception of dual-use materials and construction materials intended for the private sector (i.e. not under the supervision of an international organization).
• The capacity of the Kerem Shalom crossing (which was expanded and upgraded in the last year) is significantly greater than the actual volume of goods moving through it. Currently Gaza is also exporting agricultural produce to Europe.
• Movement of people via the crossings for humanitarian reasons (mostly for medical treatment), as well as about 300 Gaza businesspersons a week (as per permits) and representatives of international organizations is allowed.
• Israel has approved so far 130 projects under the implementation and supervision of the international community, as detailed below:
Breakdown according to type: Fourteen agricultural projects; 10 in housing; 41 in education; 14 in health; 17 in sewage; 11 in water; 2 in electricity; 9 in roads and sidewalks; 5 international facilities; one economic, aid and welfare project and one additional project.
According to organizations and states:
50 UNRWA projects (education, housing, sewage, infrastructures, offices); USAID – 44; UNDP – 24; World Bank – 3; Red Cross – 2; Germany – one; France – two; Belgium – one; Egypt – one; the Netherlands – one; and one NGO.
UNRWA has so far submitted 92 requests for projects in a number of fields:
• Health: Four requests; all approved and in various stages of implementation
• Housing: Thirteen requests, eight of which were approved. The rest are being examined. One of the projects has been completed (151 units in Khan Unis).
• UNRWA facilities: Three requests, all approved – one completed, one in the process of being built, and one ready to begin. • Sewage: Four projects – one approved and completed; two approved but not yet started; and the last one, a pipe that will conduct wastewater in Khan Unis towards a sewage treatment center is conditional on the construction of the sewage treatment facility.
• Education: 68 requests, 32 of which were approved. Fourteen of the approved projects are in the process of being implemented and two have been completed. Details of the requested projects:
One kindergarten, one cultural center in Khan Unis, addition of a library [to a school] in Jabaliya, one summer camp (2010), one shipping container to be used as classrooms (2010), 8 expansions of existing schools (3 approved so far); one teachers' training academy (in review); 54 new schools – 26 requests are being reviewed and 24 have been approved so far.