According to a United Nations report, the economic blockade imposed by Israel has left 80% of Gaza’s population reliant on international aid, even before the recent conflict. The UN Conference on Trade and Development report revealed that two-thirds of Gaza’s population lived in poverty, with an unemployment rate of 45%, one of the highest globally.
The report, prepared before the recent conflict, highlighted the severe impact of the long-standing blockade on Gaza’s economy. The aid that once supported the living standards of over 2 million people has dwindled. The recent conflict, initiated by Hamas militants attacking southern Israeli communities, has further damaged Gaza’s infrastructure, leading to more economic disruption and over 5,000 Palestinian deaths.
Unctad’s report emphasized that the blockade, frequent military operations, and restrictions on the movement of people and goods have crippled Gaza’s economy, impeded access to essential services, and undermined the living conditions of Palestinians. The report also noted that conditions in Gaza were worse than in the West Bank, with a higher probability of poverty, unemployment, and despair.
The report also pointed out that donor aid, which once mitigated the impact of occupation, has significantly decreased. In 2022, the Palestinian government received only $250m in donor budget support and $300m for development projects, a sharp decline from the $2bn received in 2008.
Unemployment across the occupied Palestinian territories remained high at 24%, with rates of 13% in the West Bank and 45% in Gaza. The report noted that women and young people were the most affected.
Read more at The Guardian.