UN has a big task ahead in Gaza

Currently 200,000 children are being schooled in United Nations schools, but in addition to education there are many other needs the UN is responsible for in the war wrecked Gaza strip.

Hamas may be politically in charge of the Gaza Strip, but it's to the U.N.'s relief agency that the majority of the 1.4 million Gazans turn for health care, garbage collection, food assistance and just about every other service usually provided by a state.

With much of the territory devastated by Israel's latest military offensive, the agency's job is bound to get even bigger.

Many Gazans expect the U.N.'s agency for Palestinians to take the lead in reconstruction, though its role is currently limited to the refugee camps that house more than 1 million people.

It is estimated that $2 billion is needed to repair the 21,000 homes damaged or destroyed, along with factories and government buildings, in the three-week Israeli attack to end Hamas' rocket-firing.

The fundraising is yet to start and also how the money will be distributed is another factor that remains unclear for now.

According to head of Gaza operations for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, John Ging, We're delivering the services of a state, until the state is established, he told the Associated Press.

The UNRWA should work with the Hamas government while maintaining its neutrality. This is questioned by many Israelis.

Following the war, teachers at the UNRWA schools have been briefed to rather channel the children's grief away from revenge and violence. They are also encouraged to get their students to talk about the lost classmates and deal with their deaths.

Any teacher inciting anger and hatred among the children will be dealt with in the most severest of fashions, Ging told the AP.

We're in a battle with extremism here in Gaza, said Ging, adding that UNRWA schools aim to guide (children) to a civilized place.

The 60-year-old agency has been in Gaza so long, and its institutions are so deeply entrenched, that it has been able to conduct its operations with little contact with the local government for years - even before Hamas came to power.