Kuwait, Asharq Al-Awsat- Informed Arab diplomatic sources confirmed to Asharq al-Awsat that there is an Arab consensus among the donor countries that the World Bank must have a “pivotal role” in the reconstruction efforts in Gaza “so that the reconstruction will take place according to international standards, which guarantee fast and efficient results that are necessary because of the catastrophe that befell the strip”.
The sources announced that the Kuwait Economic Summit will consider the mechanism through which the reconstruction will take place “so that the aid and the projects will be carried out directly for the sake of the needy and under the direct supervision of the World Bank”.
“The sources announced that Saudi Arabia will present the largest share of aid for the reconstruction work ($1 billion) “and it will announce this as soon as an agreement is reached on the mechanism to be used”. The sources pointed out that Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates will also present aid alongside Saudi Arabia. The sources clarified that the current discussions focus on “three mechanisms” for reconstructing Gaza: setting up a fund dedicated to this purpose, using one of the specialized funds already in existence as there are a number of funds subordinated to the Arab League for supporting Palestine and the Palestinian Authority, along with the “Al-Quds Fund”, which was set up by Saudi Arabia in the Cairo summit in 1996. The third mechanism is the use of a “donor conference”, which will be held in the coming few weeks.
“The sources announced that there is an agreement among the donor countries that “the donations must not go directly to the PA or to Hamas as the World Bank will be responsible for evaluating the damage and coming up with the rules and regulations for the reconstruction process according to the international precedents”.
According to John Holmes, the U.N. humanitarian chief, hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid will be needed immediately to help Gaza’s 1.4 million people and billions of dollars will be required to rebuild its shattered buildings and infrastructure.
John Holmes said some neighborhoods have been almost totally destroyed, there are huge medical and food needs, sewage is flowing in some streets, and unexploded ordnance is posing a big problem.
While 100,000 people had their running water restored on Sunday, 400,000 still have no water, electricity is available for less than half the day, and 100,000 people are displaced from their homes, Holmes said.