"With this assessment, we hope to mobilize donors’ support to help restore dignified living conditions and livelihoods in Gaza and lead the way to recovery.” said Kanthan Shankar, World Bank Country Director for the West Bank and Gaza.
The bank's Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA) report was presented to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which met virtually on Tuesday to discuss donor funding for the Palestinians. The 15-member body includes representation from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations and the United States and typically meets only twice a year in the spring and fall.
The report found that the war cost Gaza $380 million in physical damage and $190 million in economic losses.
It suggested that $485 million be spent on Gaza recovery in the next 24 months.
The World Bank's damage assessment of Gaza is the most complete report to be published on the impact of the 11-day IDF-Hamas war on the small enclave.
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said that everything must expedite the Gaza recovery. “The cessation of hostilities reached last month has largely held but remains fragile. The UN is continuing its diplomatic engagements with all concerned parties to solidify the ceasefire. In the meantime, we are also ensuring that we do everything we can to meet the most urgent needs that would allow Palestinians in Gaza begin the process of recovery as quickly as possible," Wennesland said.
Gaza was in dire straits prior to the war which only exacerbated the situation, the report stated.
The Bank projected that Gaza’s GDP, which was expected to grow by 2.5% this year, may instead contract by 0.3%, Shankar said.
Critical recovery needs include cash assistance for some 45,000 individuals for food and non-food assistance, the bank said.
Food production must be improved and badly damaged small businesses must be rebuilt, the report stated. Some 20,000 jobs must be created, it added.
EU Representative Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, said "the recovery of Gaza must be backed by a meaningful peace process that will bring security and dignity for all. … Gaza’s recovery will depend much on the progress of the political process and a negotiated solution. Palestinian unity and democratic renewal through free and fair elections are as well of crucial importance."