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Gaza

Volume 714: debated on Tuesday 10 November 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much of the £20 million pledged by them in March 2009 at Sharm el-Sheikh for relief and reconstruction in Gaza and economic development has been spent; and how much they have spent so far in 2009–10 in the West Bank and Gaza. [HL6008]

The UK pledged £30 million at the Sharm el-Sheikh conference, of which £20 million was allocated for reconstruction and £10 million for early recovery. We are already funding a number of early recovery projects, such as cash for work schemes employing people to clear rubble and repair agricultural roads, and expect to spend the full £10 million allocated for this purpose by March 2010. However, due to restrictions on the entry of building materials into Gaza, the UK has not yet been able to spend any of the funding earmarked for reconstruction. We stand ready to provide support as soon as the situation improves, and continue to press the Israeli Government for improved access to Gaza for aid, aid workers and reconstruction materials.

The UK has spent £16.9 million in the West Bank and Gaza so far this financial year, including £5.2 million in humanitarian assistance to Gaza, and £10 million in support to the Palestinian Authority to enable it to provide essential public services. We have also provided nearly £20 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to provide support to Palestinian refugees, of which around half is allocated to Gaza and the West Bank.