The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the International Islamic Charity Organization (IICO) joined forces to improve the living conditions of families in the Gaza strip, Palestine, through the rehabilitation of damaged housing units for affected non-refugee families in the Gaza Strip.
The agreement between UN-Habitat and IICO was signed during a hybrid press conference held in Kuwait in the presence of Dr. Erfan Ali, UN-Habitat Regional Representative for the Arab States, Bader Al Sumait, General manager of IICO, Zeyad Elshakra, Head of UN-Habitat Palestine Country Office and Ameera Alhassan, Head of UN-Habitat Kuwait Country Office.
“This project is an actual contribution to improving the security of tenure and fostering resilience of families affected by the recent escalation in the Gaza Strip,” Dr. Ali commented. “It also contributes to achieving long-term stability in the region.”
In cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Public Works and Housing the project’s aim is to support the rehabilitation of housing units and support local economic development. The project targets Gaza and the North Gaza governorates, where more than one million people reside, many of them suffering from deteriorated living conditions. During the implementation of the project, vocational training and work opportunities will also be provided to residents.
From her side, Ameera Alhassan stated that the ongoing partnership between UN-Habitat and IICO reflects mutual trust and translated into more development and humanitarian projects. The State of Kuwait proves that it was and still is a humanitarian center that gives unconditional aid wherever needed, supported by the leadership, the government and the people of Kuwait.
During the period between 10 and 21 May 20221 in Gaza, more than 113,000 people fled their homes due to the May 2021 escalations in Palestine. Further, since 2014, 63 per cent of households reported that their shelter had been damaged or destroyed. Currently 31 per cent of them reported shelter damage in 2021. The main objective of the project is to rehabilitate a portion of the housing units in the Gaza Strip that were damaged during the May 2021 conflict.
Since 2003, UN-Habitat has been supporting the State of Palestine through supporting neighborhood planning in Gaza and participatory spatial planning interventions, including public spaces, to better guide reconstruction efforts.