Egypt, Norway Call for $5.4b Aid to Gaza

Egypt, Norway Call for $5.4b Aid to GazaEgypt, Norway Call for $5.4b Aid to Gaza

Egypt and Norway urged donors on Thursday, including Persian Gulf states to keep promises of providing $5.4 billion in aid for the Palestinians after the devastating war in Gaza last year.

The two nations, who led a donors’ conference in Cairo in October when the cash was pledged, wrote an open letter to donors and said people in Gaza were suffering with a slower-than-expected pace of reconstruction, Reuters reported.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the two felt it had become necessary to remind donors who had promised to help rebuild Gaza that they “should fulfill their obligations in this regard.”

“No one has said to us that they’re not committed to what they have pledged, but also due to oil price and other issues in the Persian Gulf, there has been a bit of a lingering,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende told a news conference.

The two ministers did not single out any nations for criticism nor say how much of the $5.4 billion pledged had reached the Palestinians.

Last year, among countries pledging aid, Qatar offered $1 billion, and Kuwait and the UAE promised $200 million each. The US pledged $212 million, France $45 million and Germany 50 million euro.

The two ministers said they would follow up with personal contacts with other countries in coming weeks.

The 50-day war between Israel and Gaza’s resistance group Hamas killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians while the Israeli death toll was 73, mostly soldiers.