Norway joins 35 billion kroner aid fund for Gaza

Norway joins 35 billion kroner aid fund for Gaza
Borg Brende, Norway's foreign minister, co-hosted the Gaza conference in Egypt. Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB scanpix
International envoys pledged about 35 billion kroner($5.4 billion) in aid for the Gaza Strip at a meeting in Egypt on Sunday, Norway's foreign minister said.

"The participants pledged approximately $5.4 billion," said Børge Brende, reading out a closing statement at the Cairo conference which Norway co-hosted.

Half of the pledges will go for reconstruction and the rest as unspecified aid to the Palestinians, he said.

The donors "committed themselves to start disbursing their assistance as soon as possible," Brende said.

The conference aimed at financing the reconstruction of swathes of Gaza destroyed in a July-August war between Israel and Hamas.

Gas-rich Qatar led the way at the donors conference in Cairo with a promise of 6.5 billion kroner ($1 billion) in aid to the coastal enclave.

The Palestinians asked for up to $4 billion (26 billion kroner) in international aid after Gaza suffered heavy damage in its 50-day summer war with Israel.

The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait also pledged $200 million (1,300 million kroner) each.

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