UN trade body says Gaza reconstruction estimated at $20bn

World Feb, 16 2024
UN trade body says Gaza reconstruction estimated at $20bn
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NEWYORK: A UN trade body official has said Gaza will need a new "Marshall Plan" to recover from the fighting between Israel and Hamas, adding that the damage from the conflict so far amounts to around $20 billion, Reuters reports.

Speaking on the sidelines of a UN meeting in Geneva, Richard Kozul-Wright, a director at trade body UNCTAD, said the damage was already four times that endured in Gaza during the seven-week war in 2014.

"We are talking about around $20bn if it stops now," he said. Kozul-Wright said the estimate was based on satellite images and other information and that a more precise estimate would require researchers to enter Gaza. The reconstruction will require a new "Marshall Plan", he said, referring to the US plan for Europe's economic recovery after World War Two.

The health ministry in Gaza has said that at least 28,663 people have been killed in Israeli bombardment on the Palestinian territory since Oct 7.The toll includes 87 fatalities over the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, while 68,395 people have been wounded in Gaza, AFP reports.

The United Nations aid chief has warned of the possibility of a spillover of Palestinians amassed in Rafah into Egypt if Israel launches a military operation against the border town, Reuters reports. Speaking at the United Nations in Geneva, Martin Griffiths said the notion that people in Gaza could evacuate to a safeplace was an "illusion."

Published in The Daily National Courier, February, 16 2024

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