30 Jan 2009

UN appeals for $US613 million for Gaza

6:05 am on 30 January 2009

The United Nations is to appeal for $US613 million to help people affected by the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

UN director-general Ban Ki-Moon announced the appeal in Davos on Thursday.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says the money would be used to provide food, shelter, healthcare and other assistance.

The agency says an assessment is being made on long-term needs, including reconstruction of damaged homes, said OCHA.

Israel began Operation Cast Lead against Hamas on 27 December in response to rocket fire from the territory. Ground troops entered Gaza on 3 January. Fighting continued until a ceasefire was reached on 18 January.

Official Palestinian figures around 4000 houses were flattened as well as 48 government offices and buildings, 30 police stations and 20 mosques.

Roads, schools, the electricity grid and the water network were also damaged.