Monday, March 4, 2024

Gaza’s economic losses amount to $700mn since start of war: Report

Israel's devastating war on Gaza since 7 October has resulted in at least $700m worth of losses, just in the first month, according to the director of statistics at the Central Bureau of Statistics, Muhammad Qalalwa.

Gaza’s poverty rate is set to soar to more than 90 percent, Qalalwa said on Sunday.

At least 147,000 had stopped working and around 56,000 businesses had closed and unemployment is expected to rise to about 65 percent, he added.

Excluding the current conflict, the economic losses in the Gaza Strip since 2007 when Israel began its siege amounts to about $35bn, stated Qalalwa.

According to a report released last month, the ongoing conflict in Gaza could set back Palestine’s economy by as much as 16 years.

Titled Gaza War: Expected Socio-Economic Impacts on the State of Palestine, it outlines a grim forecast for the Palestinian economy due to the comprehensive siege of Gaza by Israel, leading to severe economic disruptions.

It was issued by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

A sharp decline is expected in the Human Development Index (HDI), setting the State of Palestine back by between 11 and 16 years, depending on the intensity of the conflict.

The economic impact of the conflict is expected to exacerbate humanitarian crises, including widespread displacement.

“The economic consequences of the war will have direct and indirect effects on the humanitarian situation, and vice versa, including large-scale displacement,” the report added.

“The regional impacts of the Gaza war are multi-layered and dependent on the scale and scope of the military escalation,” the report warned.

A new analysis by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has also warned Israel’s war could set the Palestinian economy in Gaza and the West Bank back decades.

Key economic measurements, including employment rates and GDP, have all plunged across Gaza and the West Bank, according to the UNDP analysis.

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