An international donors’ conference to help rebuild the Gaza Strip after the devastating 50-day war with Israel kicked off this morning in Cairo with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry saying the residents “need our help, desperately.”

The United Arab Emirates, promised $200 million. The U.S. pledged $212 million for security, economic development, food and medicine, shelter and water and sanitation projects.

Qatar offered the largest sum so far, pledging $1 billion, while Germany announced it would contribute $63 million, and Great Britain $32 million, for reconstruction.

UPDATE: The day ended with pledges of $5.4 billion, Norway’s foreign minister said Sunday.

(READ more from the Globe and Mail)

Photo credit: The United Nations

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