Back in October 2014 the BBC produced several reports on the subject of the Cairo donor conference aimed at securing funding for reconstruction in the Gaza Strip after the two-month long war initiated by Hamas in the summer of that year.
BBC audiences were told that:
“International donors have pledged $5.4bn (£3.4bn) for the Palestinians at a conference in Cairo.
The total, announced by the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Boerge Brende, exceeded the $4bn (£2.5bn) the Palestinian Authority had asked for.
Half the sum would be “dedicated” to work in Gaza, he said, without specifying a use for the other half.”
Since then – and in particular around the time of the one-year anniversary of the start of the conflict – the BBC has frequently promoted the topic of the slow pace of reconstruction in the Gaza Strip, often inaccurately claiming or insinuating that border restrictions introduced by Israel to combat Hamas terrorism are to blame. Notably, the corporation has devoted considerably less attention to the issue of Hamas’ misappropriation of construction materials for the purpose of terrorism.
Now the World Bank has published an interesting document titled ‘Reconstructing Gaza – Donor Pledges’ in which the pledges made by various countries at the Cairo donor conference – and the amounts actually delivered since then – are detailed. The bottom line is that only some 40% of the pledged financial aid has actually been delivered but it is worth reading the document in full to see which countries have made good on their promises and which have not.
Next time the BBC sends Yolande Knell or Lyse Doucet to the Gaza Strip to do one of their signature ‘reporter in the rubble’ dispatches, it will be interesting to see whether or not they remember to inform audiences that countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have not delivered the full amount of funds they pledged for reconstruction in the Gaza Strip.