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Competition heats up for Gaza reconstruction contracts

A lack of transparency in the bidding stage is clouding Gaza reconstruction ahead of the donor conference in Cairo.
A Palestinian man cleans his house, which witnesses said was badly damaged during the seven-week Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City August 31, 2014. Fifty days of war in one of the most densely populated parts of the world have left swathes of Gaza in ruins. With the economy reeling under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade, the enclave now faces an almost impossible task of rebuilding. Picture taken August 31, 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (GAZA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST BUSINESS CONSTRUCTION POLITICS CONFLICT)

Palestinians in Gaza are looking forward to the donors conference for Gaza’s reconstruction, scheduled Oct. 12 in Cairo at the invitation of Egypt and Norway and under the auspices of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The conference will be attended by representatives of countries all over the world, as well as businessmen and local and global organizations. The donor conference has spawned a competition between businessmen and companies for contracts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip.

An economic official in Gaza told Al-Monitor, “Preparations are in full swing to [compete over] the largest share of the expected construction projects to follow the conference. This is done through communication with the related international bodies — [the United Nations Relief and Works Agency] and the [United Nations Development Program] in particular — and in coordination with the Palestinian government of national consensus, which is supervising all of the reconstruction projects.”

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