U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has pledged $212 million in new aid to help rebuild Gaza after the region accumulated heavy damage during this summer’s 50-day war between Israel and Hamas.
Kerry made the announcement on Sunday as diplomats from more than 40 countries gathered in Cairo to pledge humanitarian aid, the New York Times reports. The U.S. previously provided $118 million in aid to Gaza earlier in 2014.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that approximately one-third of Gaza’s population was displaced by the violence and that the parts of the region are still plagued by blackouts and lack of access to water.
Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas has said that Gaza will need $4 billion to rebuild, and Qatar has already promised $1 billion toward that goal. U.S. officials suggest concerns for the region’s stability may hinder aid commitments among donors.
“There is the third time in less than six years that we have seen war break out and Gaza left in rubble,” Kerry said. “As long as there is a possibility that Hamas can fire rockets on Israeli civilians at any time, the people of Gaza will remain at risk of future conflict.”
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SOURCE: TIME, NYT