UN builds 223 homes in Gaza refugee camp
Published Tuesday 24/04/2012 (updated) 25/04/2012 07:16
Commissioner-General of UNRWA Filippo Grandi (MaanImages/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The UN agency for Palestinian refugees provided residents of a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip with 223 new homes on Tuesday, officials said.
The homes, supported by a $7.2 million donation from the Government of the Netherlands, will provide shelter to 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza's Khan Younis refugee camp, a press statement said.
The UN body is one of the few agencies able to import construction materials into the blockaded coastal strip, and officials urged Israel to allow more supplies to replace unsafe structures in the camps.
"We encourage Israel to provide UNRWA with an additional exemption to finish the remaining construction work as soon as possible ... This would allow for an additional 521 housing units," Dutch representative to the Palestinian Authority Birgitta Tazelaar said.
The donation also funded roads, water infrastructure, and an electricity system in Khan Younis. The camp suffers from overcrowding and poverty, and many structures were destroyed in Israel's 2008-9 war on Gaza, UNRWA says.
"This contribution does more than rebuild homes, it rebuilds lives," Commissioner-General of UNRWA Filippo Grandi said.