Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Gaza’s Economy Loses $100 Mn Monthly

Gaza’s Economy Loses $100 Mn Monthly

Sunday, 8 December, 2019 - 10:15
A view shows houses of Palestinians at Khan Younis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip June 20, 2018. (Reuters)

Gaza’s direct and indirect monthly economic losses increased significantly by the end of 2019 to reach nearly $100 million a month, announced head of the Popular Committee to Challenge the Israeli Siege Jamal al-Khudari.

“The crises of the economic sector are directly caused by the Israeli siege imposed on the coastal enclave since 2007,” affirmed Khudari.

He explained that thousands of factories, workshops, shops and companies have closed or shrunk by more than 80 percent of their operational capacity during the 13 years of the Israeli siege.

Khudari added that the remaining businesses are currently operating with less than 50 percent of their operational capacity, further increasing the rates of poverty and unemployment.

He warned that as long as the blockade continues, all steps and efforts made will generate limited results due to the mounting of crises.

He confirmed that approximately 85 percent of Gazans are living below the poverty line.

Khudari urged the international community to pressure Israel to lift the siege on the Strip, noting that it is the real means to ending its economic, health, environmental and educational problems.

He also appealed donors to allocate special budgets for alleviating the deteriorating humanitarian situation.

Israeli policies have cost the Palestinian economy more than $2.5 billions on a yearly basis for the nearly past two decades, according to a recent UN report.

The report issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), titled “Economic cost of the Israeli occupation for the Palestinian people: Fiscal aspects” said that the total fiscal loss for the Palestinian government between 2000 and 2017 was estimated at $47.7 billion.

Gaza has become increasingly unlivable for humans in light of the harsh and worsening social and economic conditions.

In 2018, its domestic economy slowed down by 7 percent, which led to a decrease in per capita income by 10 percent.

A report by the Gaza Ministry of Social Development showed that poverty rates in the sector are the highest in the world.

Poverty and unemployment in Gaza reached 75 percent in 2019, while 70 percent of the total population of the enclave suffer from food insecurity, 33.8 percent are below the extreme poverty line and 65.6 percent of the poor families are refugees.

Editor Picks