GAza israel war
A Palestinian man sits on the rubble of a house destroyed by Israeli strikes, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the northern Gaza Strip, April 22, 2024. Image Credit: Reuters

Geneva: The long-term cost to rebuild Gaza after the Israel-Hamas war could reach $50 billion and take almost two decades, a United Nations official said Thursday.

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"This price of rebuilding is increasing exponentially by every day of fighting," said Abdallah Al Dardari, director for Arab States at the UN Development Program. He said that the immediate cost of providing temporary shelter and other basic services once the war ends would be at least $2 billion.

Al Dardari's remarks follow the release earlier Thursday of a Development Program report warning that Gaza could end up with "lost generations" in light of projections that replacing destroyed facilities providing human services, such as schools and hospitals, may also take decades to reach pre-war levels.

Millions of civilians have been displaced by the war that started after Hamas militants attacked Israel's south on Oct. 7 and killed some 1,200 people. More than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli campaign to destroy Hamas that has ravaged the Gaza Strip, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.