Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

During a brief 12 cessation of hostilities, families returned to Shujaiya in eastern Gaza, scene of some of the heaviest Israeli bombing. July 27, 2014. (Photo: Oxfam International/flickr/cc)

During a brief 12 cessation of hostilities, families returned to Shujaiya in eastern Gaza, scene of some of the heaviest Israeli bombing. July 27, 2014. (Photo: Oxfam International/flickr/cc)

Nearly 50 Aid Agencies Charge International Community Failing People of Gaza

The Association of International Development Agencies finds that, six months after global donors pledged $3.5 billion, only a quarter of funds have been disbursed

Sarah Lazare

Just six months after donors from around the world pledged $3.5 billion towards the rebuilding of Gaza, following Israel's 51-day military assault last summer, only 26.8 percent of these funds have been disbursed, reconstruction has "barely begun," and the civilian population remains strangled by an economic and military siege.

The Association of International Development Agencies delivered this devastating indictment in a report released Monday, entitled Charting a New Course: Overcoming the Stalemate in Gaza (pdf).

Forty-six humanitarian organizations from across the globe signed onto the findings of the report, which was published six months after an October 2014 conference in Cairo At the conference, attended by representatives of over 60 countries and chaired by Norway, governments committed funds for Gaza's reconstruction and recovery following the devastating attacks.

Israel's ground invasion and air bombardments—termed "Operation Protective Edge"—killed an estimated 2,134 Palestinians, approximately 70 percent of whom were civilians. Seventy-one Israelis were also killed in the conflict, including five civilians.

Gaza's civilian infrastructure, furthermore, was decimated in the attack, which damaged over 160,000 homes, 20,000 meters of water pipelines, and 30 percent of agricultural lands. At least 14 health facilities and eight schools were completely destroyed, and Gaza's only power plant was targeted in the bombings, leading to ongoing electricity shortages.

"With the blockade in place we are just reconstructing a life of misery, poverty and despair."
—Tony Laurance, MAP UK

In the face of this large-scale destruction, the international community has so far failed to deliver on its recovery promises, the report charges.

"The promising speeches at the donor conference have turned into empty words," said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam, a signatory to the report. "There has been little rebuilding, no permanent ceasefire agreement and no plan to end the blockade. The international community is walking with eyes wide open into the next avoidable conflict, by upholding the status quo they themselves said must change."

And, even when funds do get in, reconstruction projects stall, or do not begin at all, because the blockade prevents materials from reaching Gaza.

"Most of the 81 health clinics and hospitals that were damaged still lack funds for reconstruction, but the few that have funds do not have the material needed to proceed," notes a report summary.

In addition, an estimated 100,000 people in Gaza are homeless, and not one of the 19,000 homes destroyed in the war has been rebuilt.

Furthermore, the report charges, there has been "no accountability to address violations of international law" and the international community has not posed a meaningful challenge to the siege itself.

As many have argued, international aid is a pittance as long as global super-powers like the United States throw their political and financial backing behind Israel's siege of Gaza, home to 1.8 million people and one of the most densely-populated places on earth.

The report urges, "The international community, in particular the (Middle East diplomatic) Quartet of the US, the EU, Russia and the UN, should propose a time-bound plan to support an end to the blockade."

Tony Laurance, CEO of MAP UK, another signatory to the report, declared, “The world is shutting its eyes and ears to the people of Gaza when they need it most. Reconstruction cannot happen without funds, but money alone will not be enough. With the blockade in place we are just reconstructing a life of misery, poverty and despair."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Freelance Photographer Says He Was Fired by NYT Over Support for Palestinian Resistance

"What is taking place is a systematic effort to distort the image of Palestinian journalists as being incapable of trustworthiness and integrity, simply because we cover the human rights violations that the Palestinian people undergo on a daily basis at hands of the Israeli army."

Kenny Stancil ·


Permian Basin Leaking 14 Times More Methane Than EPA Estimates: Study

"Applying this estimate to all gas gathering pipelines nationwide for illustrative purposes would increase the EPA inventory estimate for the entire natural gas system by 27%," noted co-authors of a new study.

Julia Conley ·


Coalition Representing 24 Million Workers Demands Senate Vote on PRO Act Before Midterms

"Passing the Protecting the Right to Organize Act would level the playing field for these workers, and show people which side the Senate Democrats are on," said one advocate.

Kenny Stancil ·


US Should Respond to OPEC by Reinstating Oil Export Ban, Says Green Group

"It is no surprise that the international oil cartel is seeking to maintain high prices," said a campaigner with Food & Water Watch. "Political leaders here at home must understand that the solution is not to increase drilling."

Jake Johnson ·


Coalition Says Biden Should Offer This Many Offshore Drilling Leases: Zero

"We cannot continue down a path that overlooks the irreversible damage of Big Oil," warned one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo