UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced yesterday the start of a work programme funded by the Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, Qatari news agency QNA reported.
Spokesman of the UNRWA Adnan Abu-Hasna told QNA that the work programme will run for between three to nine months, noting that it is in the final stage of preparations.
The programme is targeting university graduates, unskilled workers and administration positions, Abu-Hasna said, noting that public and private sectors, as well as UNRWA would benefit from it.
The Gaza Strip has suffered under a more than 11-year siege at the hands of Israel, with support from Egypt and the international community. Goods, food, aid, construction materials and other essentials have not been allowed into the Strip and people have been left unable to leave even to access medical care.
The General Federation of Palestinian Labour Unions reported last year that as a result of the siege, unemployment in the enclave almost doubled to 50 per cent, rising from 27.2 per cent before 2007.
Due to the ban on the entry of fuel, Gaza's sole electricity plant has been forced to shut down leaving civilians with only 4 hours of electricity a day; further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.
A report released by the UN last month raised concerns that the Strip is "de-developing" faster than anticipated, such that the 2020 deadline by which it was said that Gaza would be "unliveable" may have already arrived.