Tripoli: A charity group run by the
Libyan leader`s son Seif al-Islam Kadhafi said today it signed
a USD 50 million deal with a UN agency to rebuild 1,250
refugee homes in the Gaza Strip.
"We have signed an agreement with UNRWA to build
1,250 homes in Gaza for a total cost of 50 million dollars,"
the executive director of the Kadhafi Foundation, Yussef
Sawan, told AFP.
Israel launched a devastating offensive on Gaza at
the end of December 2008 that lasted 22 days and left many
homes, schools and health centres damaged.
Arab governments pledged funds to rebuild the
Sawan said the reconstruction drive will begin
"immediately" and that Israeli guarantees were secured in
order to bring vital construction equipment into the blockaded
UNRWA, the UN`s aid agency for Palestinian
refugees, welcomed the Libyan donation in a statement quoting
Peter Ford, the representative of the agency`s commissioner
general Filippo Grandi.
"Twelve thousand refugees are still waiting for
their homes to be rebuilt, living in the meanwhile in
miserable, cramped and often expensive conditions in
rented houses or with relatives or camping in the open.
"This generous donation should enable UNRWA to make
a real difference to the lives of hundreds of families," Ford
was quoted as saying.
But he stressed that "the pace of Israeli approval
for UN projects would have to increase considerably for this
to happen," the statement said.
"We have a huge backlog of projects which have been
held up, some of them for more than three years," he said.