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Saudi Arabia pledges millions to Gaza

Feb. 5, 2013 at 5:52 AM

GAZA, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A Saudi official, attending the official opening of a housing project in Gaza, pledged to invest tens of millions of dollars and build more homes.

Yousef al-Bassam, vice chairman of the Saudi Development Fund, attended Monday's official opening ceremony of the Saudi-funded, 752-home neighborhood in Rafah.

He pledged an additional $88 million to the Gulf Cooperation Council program in Gaza that would go toward refurbishing about 7,000 homes and the construction of 1,100 new homes as well as six schools, the Ma'an News Agency reported Tuesday.

"This project was implemented in difficult situations but with UNRWA's efforts, the project was successful in record time and with high quality. This project also employed more than 400 workers, increased incomes, and revitalized the work of contractors," the news agency quoted al-Bassam as saying at the ceremony.

The building of the new neighborhood in Rafah was overseen by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency in Gaza.

Robert Turner, the United Nations' director of operations in Gaza, said the opening of the neighborhood would mark the end of a difficult period for thousands of families, the news agency said.

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