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UN says Gaza’s ‘fragile’ economy needs support to face coronavirus

April 1, 2020 at 12:22 pm

A group of volunteer youth carry out disinfection work during the coronavirus pandemic in Gaza on 29 March 2020 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

A spokesman for the UN Secretary-General has said that the “fragile” economy in the besieged Gaza Strip was in António Guterres’s mind when he launched an appeal to raise $2 billion to help countries at high risk from the coronavirus pandemic, Al-Quds Al-Arabi has reported.

Stéphane Dujarric made his comment when asked by a journalist about the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially the Gaza Strip. He pointed out that Guterres was speaking at UN headquarters in New York at the launch of a report on the potential socioeconomic impact of the outbreak.

In a brief for the UN Security Council meeting in a video conference on 30 March, the Secretary-General’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process said, “Despite critical interventions to bolster Gaza’s economy and water, energy and health sectors, humanitarian and socioeconomic conditions remain dire.”

The UN, added Nickolay Mladenov, is supporting measures to tackle the spread of COVID-19. “However, Gaza is at particularly high risk for an outbreak given its already failing healthcare system in one of the most densely populated areas of the world.”

UNRWA: ‘The worst scenario is the spread of coronavirus in besieged Gaza’

Access to healthcare in Gaza - [Visualizing Palestine/Twitter]

Access to healthcare in Gaza – [Visualizing Palestine/Twitter]