The International Labor Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday that several specialists from its team are scheduled to arrive in Gaza on Thursday to develop a framework for technical interventions, in line with the UN Support Plan for the Transformation of the Gaza Strip.
"The ILO's reconstruction efforts will focus on three main priority areas: creating emergency employment, including cash-for-work schemes to strengthen resilience and restore livelihoods in Gaza; enhancing employability of young male and female engineering graduates to meet labour market skills needs associated with reconstruction and recovery; and promoting Labour market governance," said the ILO in a press release from its headquarters in Geneva.
This step based on the ILO Regional Director for Arab States Nada Al-Nashif field visit last week to lay the groundwork for the expansion of ILO activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, following the Cairo International Conference on Palestine which focused on reconstructing Gaza.
During her visit, Al-Nashif met with the Ministries of Labour and Women's Affairs, representatives of the Palestinian private sector, the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, the Gaza UN and other economic and civil society actors.
"The destruction Gaza endured last summer has given the ILO renewed impetus to expand its existing programmes and develop new initiatives in the areas of emergency employment creation, local economic development especially support to the private sector, and the protection of vulnerable groups, as well as enhanced labour administration," said Al-Nashif in the same press release.
"Responding to the reconstruction crisis is essential - but the expansion of ILO operations must be re-aligned with national priorities to ensure that the ILO Palestinian Decent Work Programme can provide decent work outcomes for all Palestinians," she added.
On October 12, some 50 countries met in Cairo under the joint auspices of Egypt and Norway, and pledged USD 5.4 billion dollars towards the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and the development of its economy in the aftermath of Israel's military offensive (July-August 2014.) The latest escalation in Gaza took a devastating toll on Palestinian civilian lives, and resulted in massive damage to the social and economic infrastructure on a scale unprecedented since the start of Israeli occupation in 1967.