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Volume 718: debated on Monday 8 March 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress is being made in the reconstruction of United Nation schools in Gaza following the destruction during “operation cast lead” a year ago. [HL2238]

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) reopened all of their 221 primary and secondary schools a week after the end of the conflict. With funding from the Department for International Development (DfID), the Mines Advisory Group inspected and cleared unexploded ordnance from the UNRWA schools, allowing 220,000 children to return to school. However, limited progress has been made in physically repairing or rebuilding UNRWA school buildings damaged during Operation Cast Lead, due to restrictions on the import of materials such as cement. The UK continues to press the Israeli Government for full, safe and unhindered access for aid, reconstruction material and aid workers.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees operation in Gaza. [HL2240]

The UK is a major donor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Including our share of EU funding, the UK is UNRWA’s second largest bilateral donor. In 2009 we provided £31 million in funding to UNRWA; £20 million in core funding, of which one-third is spent in Gaza; £6 million to the 2009 Gaza emergency appeal; and £5 million specifically to improve education services in Gaza.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made in the restoration of sewage disposal in Gaza. [HL2241]

The first phase of the World Bank- funded North Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment project, to divert sewage away from the hazardous Beit Lahiya site, was completed in January following the Government of Israel's approval to import into Gaza the final tranche of required materials. The second phase, to address the long-term needs of wastewater treatment for northern Gaza, is due to start in April. However, this will depend on whether Israel permits the required construction materials to enter Gaza. The UN Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recently reported that 6 kilometres of sewers have been repaired since the end of the conflict, as well as some wastewater facilities.