Qatar Red Crescent to invest $10m in Gaza projects

The Qatar arm of the Red Crescent Society is to invest $10m in the Gaza Strip

The Qatar arm of the Red Crescent Society is to invest $10m in a string of projects in the Gaza Strip, ranging from the development of disability services to improving education facilities for young Palestinians.

At total of 27 new initiatives will be rolled out in the troubled region, including the establishment of the Jerusalem (Al-Quds) Open University center in Khan Younis, at a cost of $850,000. A further $540,000 will be used to create a department for clinical rehabilitation mat Al Amal Hospital in Khan Yunis.

Additional spending includes the upgrading and maintenance of the College of Ability Development at Khan Younis, developing the physical therapy department at Ahly Arab hospital, and creating a specialised centre for the treatment of complications arising from diabetes at Al Wafa hospital.

It is hoped that the projects will alleviate some of the suffering of the 1.6 million people living in the Gaza Strip, a 360-kilometre square stretch of land buttressed by Israel and Egypt. In August last year, a report by the United Nations warned that the Gaza Strip will not be “a liveable place” by 2020 unless action is taken to improve basic services in the territory. Basic infrastructure “is struggling to keep pace with a growing population”, the UN country team said, estimating that Gaza’s population will rise to 2.1m by 2020.

The territory will need double the number of schools and 800 more hospital beds by 2020. The coastal aquifer, Gaza’s only natural source of fresh water, may also become unusable by 2016, the team said.