Palestinian reconstruction conference opens in Egypt

March 2, 2009

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal led the Saudi delegation to the International Conference for Supporting the Palestinian Economy and Reconstruction of Gaza, which began in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt today. The delegation includes Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf and Vice President of the Saudi Fund for Development and Managing Director Eng. Yosef Al-Bassam.

 

The four day conference, hosted by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, is being attended by heads of state, foreign ministers and delegations from 87 countries and organizations. In his opening remarks, President Mubarak praised the generous donation of $1 billion announced by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz for reconstruction in Gaza, noting that this donation constitutes a nucleus for mobilizing Arab and international contributions.

In preparation for the meeting, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has put together a 53-page reconstruction plan for donors, including detailed damage assessments. According to his figures, fixing the war damage to infrastructure and homes in Gaza will cost $501 million. A total of 4,036 homes were destroyed and 11,514 damaged. Fayyad noted that with open borders and sufficient aid, reconstruction could begin in six weeks.