UNOPS Executive Director, Grete Faremo, accompanied by Regional Director of the Asia, Europe and Middle East office, Bruce McCarron, and Country Director of the Jerusalem operations centre, Nicholas O’Regan, extended UNOPS support to the emergency relief, early recovery and long-term development of Gaza at the International Conference on Palestine ‘Reconstructing Gaza’ in Cairo on 12 October 2014. UNOPS will contribute to reconstruction efforts in its specialized service areas of sustainable infrastructure, procurement and project management.
During their visit, the UNOPS delegation met with the Prime Minister of Palestine, Dr Rami Hamdallah, to discuss the strategic approach to reconstruction. Prime Minister Hamdallah emphasized the need to effectively translate the plans developed during the conference into results on the ground, and stressed the importance of the role of the international community as a fundamental partner in Gaza’s reconstruction. He outlined how this role will involve the creation of specialized teams across all sectors involved in the reconstruction.
UNOPS expressed its support to a long-term approach to rebuilding Gaza that prioritizes the economic, environmental and social sustainability of projects. The goal of projects will be not only to repair the damage caused by the conflict but to transform the infrastructure of Gaza into a system that promotes human development and an adequate standard of living.
In cooperation with UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, UNOPS is also facilitating the implementation of dual-use materials in Gaza to support the reconstruction of damaged houses and large-scale public and private projects. The project will coordinate with the High Ministerial Committee for Reconstruction of the Government of Palestine to strengthen collaboration with the local community and the private sector.
Ms Faremo also met with the Office of the Quartet Representative, Tony Blair, to discuss a potential partnership to support the Government of Palestine in its reconstruction plans for Gaza.