Thursday, January 22, 2009

Public works ministry: Reconstruction of Gaza costs more than $2b

GAZA, (PIC)-- The ministry of public works in the PA government in Gaza has estimated the cost of reconstructing the Gaza Strip following the three weeks of Israeli war at 2.215 billion dollars.

Dr. Yousef Al-Mansi, the minister of public works, told a press conference on Wednesday in Gaza city that the amount was a preliminary estimation following the ministry's preliminary statistics and categorization of damage. He added that the sum also includes relief and shelter for civilians who were rendered homeless by the aggression.

He pointed out that 5000 families had lost their homes and furniture completely and each needs around 10000 dollars for a period of one year.

He added that the homes of 6000 families were partially damaged but could not be used for residence and those families lost part of their furniture. He explained that they needed around 5000 dollars for one year.

The minister said that 10000 families had their homes damaged but could be rebuilt and are in need of 3000 dollars for a year.

Mansi said that 20000 housing units were totally destroyed and needed 250 million dollars for reconstruction while the government buildings, institutions and clubs needed 8 million dollars for reconstruction. The Gaza airport and harbor need 10 million dollars to repair the damage they sustained, he elaborated.

A sum of 40 million dollars was needed to rebuild schools, kindergartens and universities destroyed in the war, he said, adding that another sum of 55 million dollars was needed to rehabilitate destroyed factories, workshops and civil defense facilities.

The minister underlined that the infrastructure projects, electricity, water and sewage, need 55 million dollars while another sum of 40 million dollars was needed to reconstruct greenhouses and animal farms and their factories.

Mansi hailed all efforts exerted to contribute to the reconstruction of Gaza, but said that they would not be practicable without opening all crossings without any restrictions.

Those efforts should be in coordination with the Palestinian government in Gaza in its capacity as the main party concerned with the reconstruction, adding that those who severed salaries of civil servants (Ramallah government) could not be entrusted with the reconstruction funds.

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