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Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 16th February 2017.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the report published by the UN Conference on Trade and Development on 1 September 2015, what international planning, if any, is underway to prevent the Gaza Strip becoming uninhabitable by 2020.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

The UK remains deeply concerned by the situation in Gaza and the report’s warning that Gaza could become uninhabitable by 2020. UK aid has supported economic development, provision of basic services, and enabled reconstruction through support to the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism. However, as the report makes clear, aid alone cannot solve the problems in Gaza. We welcome Israel’s decision in 2015 to increase the water supply to Gaza, as well as other commitments which permit the construction of essential energy infrastructure. Improvements in energy and water provision are essential to improve the daily lives of the people living in Gaza. The UK Government frequently stresses to both parties the importance that these commitments are implemented quickly, and continues to press for a sustainable political solution for Gaza which will address Israel’s legitimate security concerns whilst opening up movement and access.

The UK remains committed to supporting vulnerable Gazans. Our support includes humanitarian work such as funding for basic service delivery and development programming such as working with the private sector. The Programme Examination being conducted by the UK Government will confirm the best mix of programmes going forwards, while ensuring maximum impact and value for money for the UK taxpayer.

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