Donor conference pledges $5.4 billion for Gaza

Qatar promises $1 billion; Palestinians had requested $4 billion for post-war reconstruction

International envoys pledged about $5.4 billion in aid for the Gaza Strip at a meeting in Egypt on Sunday, Norway’s foreign minister said.

“The participants pledged approximately $5.4 billion (NIS 20 billion),” said Boerge Brende, reading out a closing statement at the Cairo conference, which Norway co-hosted.

Half of the pledges will go for reconstruction and the rest as unspecified aid to the Palestinians, he said.

The donors “committed themselves to start disbursing their assistance as soon as possible,” Brende said.

The conference aimed at financing the reconstruction of swaths of Gaza destroyed in a July-August war between Israel and Hamas.

Gas-rich Qatar led the way at the donors conference in Cairo with a promise of $1 billion in aid to the coastal enclave…

(Photo: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, during the Gaza Donor Conference.)