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Report: Covid lockdowns will leave 63% of Palestinian families unable to cover their expenses

October 5, 2020 at 10:49 am

A man wearing a face mask rides past a mural depicting of a virus to draw attention and raise awareness to the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Gaza Strip, Gaza on 3 October 2020. [Mustafa Hassona – Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said the majority of Palestinian families – 63 per cent – will not be able to cover their expenses for up to a month, if the government re-imposes a new lockdown to combat the coronavirus.

PCBS yesterday published the results of a survey it had conducted on a sample of 9,926 households in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip which assessed the pandemic’s impact on the social and economic conditions in Palestine.

According to the results, 42 per cent of families (46 per cent in the West Bank and 38 per cent in the Gaza Strip) had their income reduced by at least half during lockdown, compared to during February.

According to the survey, 63 per cent of Palestinian families (52 per cent in the West Bank and 79 per cent in Gaza) resorted to borrowing money or buying on debt to cover their living requirements such as food, during the lockdown period, up from 58 per cent under normal circumstances.

In August, the Palestinian Authority paid only 50 per cent of the salaries of its public sector employees for the fourth consecutive month due to the financial crisis caused by severing ties with Israel after the occupation announced plans to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank and Jordan Valley.

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