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Gaza: Poverty and unemployment rates at 75%

October 18, 2019 at 9:15 am

A Palestinian child can be seen outside her home in the poverty-stricken quarter of Al-Zaytoon in Gaza City on 29 September 2014 [Ezz Zanoun/Apaimages]

The Ministry of Social Development in the Gaza Strip said yesterday that the rates of poverty and unemployment in the Gaza Strip reached nearly 75 per cent in 2019.

In a press release it added that 70 per cent of the population of the Gaza Strip is food insecure. This, it continued, was a result of “the aggressive Israeli practices increased since the Second Intifada, which broke out in 2000, and depriving thousands of Palestinians of their jobs.”

As a result, the Palestinian economy could not “create new jobs to accommodate those untrained workers.”

“The Israeli blockade imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip since 2006, restricting the movement of citizens and goods, in addition to three wars in 200820122014, and the division of Palestinian forces created a complex and difficult political, economic and social reality.”

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It said that poverty indicators in Gaza “are the highest in the world, and that efforts by governmental, international and local institutions are predominantly categorised as relief activities, meeting only about 50 per cent of the basic needs of poor families.”

The ministry called for “guaranteeing humanitarian work independence away from political tensions, and improve the living standards of the people of the Gaza Strip by opening the border crossings and allowing citizens and goods to move freely.”

It also demanded “strengthening coordination between social institutions working in the Gaza Strip … in order to secure decent living conditions for the poor; in addition to increasing humanitarian and relief assistance to the Palestinian people through international and regional institutions.”

For 13 years, Israel has imposed a tight siege on Gaza, which resulted in a dramatic increase in poverty and unemployment rates.