Gaza Reconstruction Would Take Decades And Cost Billions, Says UN.

Source: VOA. This is what a typical house in Gaza looks like these days.
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If the war in Gaza ended today, improbably as that might be,  it would still take until 2040 to rebuild all the homes destroyed in Israel’s bombardment and ground offensives, according to United Nations estimates.

Using satellite imagery and official data, UNCTAD currently estimates that the Gazan economy had already contracted by 4.5 percent in the first three quarters of 2023.

However, the war since October 7th of 2023 has greatly accelerated the decline and precipitated a 24 percent GDP contraction and a 26.1 percent drop in GDP per capita for the entire year.

“Every additional day that this war continues is exacting huge and compounding costs to Gazans and all Palestinians” said United Nations Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner.

At least 370,000 housing units in Gaza have been damaged, including 79,000 destroyed completely, according to the new report by the UNDP and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.

Between 60-70% of all homes in Gaza, and up to 84% of homes in northern Gaza, are either fully destroyed or partly damaged.

After previous Israel-Hamas conflicts, housing was rebuilt at a rate of 992 units year. Even if Israel allows a five-fold increase of construction material to enter Gaza, it would take until 2040 to rebuild the destroyed houses, without repairing the damaged ones, the report said.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi had previously estimated that the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, adjacent to the border with his country, would require $90 billion.

However, at the present time there is no end to the war in sight and the cost of reconstruction might grow a great deal larger. Such a monumental task, if it is attempted at all, would require vast amounts of foreign aid.

Sources: Al Jazeera, United Nations, various.
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