Rahma from Gaza is a widow and the breadwinner in her family of 4, in addition to the family of her married son who appears in the photo. They have been living together in a rented hoouse since they lost their home in Beit Lahia. They now have a new place called home because of Saudi funding and UNDP's support.

Gaza, 25 January 2018 - With Funding from the Government of Saudi Arabia, 26 families will be the proud owners of new homes at Al Ameer Nayef bin Abdel Aziz Saudi neighborhood in Beit Lahia, as part of the Reconstructing 100 Housing Units to Rehouse Palestinian Families project. UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian people, in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, and the Municipality of Beit Lahia raffled the 26 housing units in a ceremony that took place at the Ministry premises in Gaza.

The raffle ceremony is part of a USD 25 million housing project in both Rafah and Beit Lahia governorates. The 302 housing units in Al Malek Abdullah neighborhood in Rafah and 104 units in Al Ameer Nayef Bin Abdel Aziz neighborhood in Beit Lahia will alleviate the suffering of families who had their houses demolished in Rafah during the different hostilities, mainly the 2001 Israeli operation in Philadelphia corridor and those who had their houses damaged in 2009 due to the Cast Lead operation.

His Excellency Dr Mufid Al Hasyana, Minister of Public Works and Housing thanked the Saudi Government for their generous support over the years to Gaza, and UNDP for the quality work achieved at the housing units. “We are very happy that we are handing over the housing units today, but we must not forget that around 3,000 families whose homes were totally demolished are still homeless after the 2014 hostilities. I hope that with the beginning of 2018, we will be receiving more funds to complete the reconstruction process in Gaza once and for all.”

Even though 104 units in Beit Lahia were raffled and delivered to beneficiaries in 2014 - 2015, UNDP managed to increase the number of beneficiaries by constructing two additional new buildings to increase the number of families to 130. The new buildings will enable 26 Palestinian families have dignified living conditions.

“Since 2009, and with Saudi funds, we were able to rebuild and rehabilitate more than 13,000 housing units in Beit Lahia and Rafah. We would not have been able to achieve this without the important and strong partnership with the Government of Saudi Arabia. Their support has alleviated the suffering of many families who were still waiting for their homes to be reconstructed,” said Iman Husseini, UNDP Head of Infrastructure in Gaza.

It is worth noting that the Gaza population is expected to increase to 2.1 million in 2020, resulting in a density of more than 5,800 people per square Kilometer. Gaza was expected to face a shortfall of 71,000 housing units according to the UN 2020 report, yet the number has increased following the 2014 hostilities, with more than 60,335 units still need to be reconstructed and rehabilitated, putting high demand on public infrastructure and services.

For further information, please contact:

Ms Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: dania.darwish@undp.org or Shahd El-Swerki in Gaza at Tel. +972-8-2822167 – e-mail: shahd.el-swerki@undp.org.

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