Stagnant development and poverty sweep away the Palestinian economy of $ 57 billion |

The economic damage is estimated at $ 57.7 billion. study estimates the cost to be three and a half times the GDP of the Occupied Palestinian Territory in 2019. “

Moreover, it is pointed out that the minimum cost of poverty eradication in the West Bank increased sixfold from 1998 to 2007, from $ 73 million to $ 428 million.

“We’re talking about replaying despair in the West Bank and Gaza Strip,” said Richard Kozul-Wright. UNCTAD Director of the Division of Globalization and Development Strategies, calls for the reunification of the Palestinian territories into a “full-fledged state” to make a difference.

Aftermath of the second Palestinian intifada

V report covers the period since the start of the second Palestinian intifada in September 2000.

According to UNCTAD economist Rami Alazze, Israel’s closure policy was “multi-tiered.”

Roads between the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Israel and the border with Jordan were closed, and “in 2020 there is still a separation wall that Israel began to build in 2003.”

Besides 600 West Bank obstacles, including checkpoints and gates, remain in place

Poverty projections

The immediate effect of the tightening of restrictions imposed by Israel on the West Bank has led to a sharp drop in living standards, most affecting the poorer segments of the population.

The report predicted that without Israeli closures, restrictions and military operations, the poverty rate in the West Bank in 2004 would be 12 percent, or one third of the current 35 percent.

The report indicates that in 2019, GDP per capita in the West Bank would be 44 percent higher than its actual value.

“This is a significant amount of money for such a small economy,” said Mahmoud Elhafif, UNCTAD Coordinator for Assistance to the Palestinian People.

“Rising unemployment and stunting”

In the West Bank, between 2000 and 2002, tightening Israeli restrictions and military operations caused a reduction by a third, according to the report.

Although its economy has grown at 6.2 percent a year since 2007, the report indicates that growth has been unsustainable – from 13.1 percent in 2008 to 1.6 percent in 2019 – resulting in high unemployment rates fluctuating about 18 percent. during this time.

Unable to obtain employment, many Palestinians sought work in Israel and its settlements, creating a pernicious dependence of the West Bank’s regional economy on Israel.

Without that, however, the unemployment rate in the West Bank would almost have reached the same level as in the besieged Gaza Strip, which averaged 39.8 percent between 2007 and 2019.

But the report indicated that even with a job in Israel, The regional economy of the West Bank has failed to reduce or stabilize unemployment rates since 1999.

© UNICEF / Eyas El-Baba

A thirteen-year-old boy in Palestine collects rubble near the city of Gaza, which he carries on a donkey to the market for sale. (file)

Removing restrictions

The report calls for the lifting of all restrictions on movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. and to reunite it with East Jerusalem and all the cities and villages in the West Bank and Gaza.

He also called for the opportunity for the Palestinian public and private sector to establish and operate agricultural, industrial, commercial and mining enterprises in Area C, which makes up more than 60 percent of the West Bank, where Palestinians are currently not allowed to work. enterprises.

The document repeats that Until the occupation ends, Palestinian economic development will continue to be hampered and its value to humans continues to rise.

To create “decent jobs,” “it is critical to overcome the poverty level we see in the West Bank,” said Mr. Kozul-Wright.

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