Some $485 million are urgently needed for the immediate and short-term recovery of Gaza, a World Bank report revealed yesterday.
The report, which was conducted in partnership between the World Bank Group, UN and EU, found that the 11-day Israeli offensive on besieged Gaza "resulted in the loss of over 260 people, including 66 children and 41 women, and exacerbated previous traumas in particular among children."
"The human toll was aggravated by overall damage and losses to the social, infrastructure, and productive and financial sectors.
The report, entitled Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA), said the Strip suffered up to $380 million in physical damage and $190 million in economic losses, pointing out that "recovery needs have been estimated up to US$485 million during the first 24 months."
Kanthan Shankar, World Bank country director for the West Bank and Gaza, said: "This is yet another unfortunate episode in which the Palestinian people in Gaza saw themselves in the midst of conflict and destruction."
He added: "The humanitarian crisis is worsened in an economy with very limited ties to the outside world. Gaza's GDP may contract by 0.3% in 2021 compared to an estimated 2.5% annual growth before the conflict."
Shankar stressed: "With this assessment, we hope to mobilize donors' support to help restore dignified living conditions and livelihoods in Gaza, and lead the way to recovery."
"The alarming unemployment rate in Gaza is roughly 50% and more than half of its population lives in poverty," the report added.
It also noted that following the Israeli offensive on Gaza, 62 per cent of Palestinians in the enclave are food insecure.