Israeli bombings severely weakened Gaza’s economy: Report | Gaza News
The UN, EU and World Bank report puts the cost of damage to the Gaza Strip after the 11-day offensive in May at $ 290 million to $ 380 million.
The socio-economic situation in the Gaza Strip was severely weakened following the Israeli offensive in May, according to a report (PDF) from the United Nations, the European Union and the World Bank.
Gaza’s Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA) report released on Tuesday estimated damage from the 11-day bombing to be between $ 290 million and $ 380 million, while recovery needs are estimated at $ 345 million. and $ 485 million.
“As a result of hostilities, 62 percent of Gaza’s population is food insecure,” the report said, adding that unemployment was already 48 percent and poverty rates above 50 percent before the escalation. .
The offensive killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children, and caused extensive damage to infrastructure and residential areas. On the Israeli side, 13 people were killed by rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups in the coastal enclave, including two children.
The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, where two million Palestinians – half of whom are under the age of 18 – live in 365 square kilometers (141 square miles) of coastal territory. It has been under the blockade of Egypt and Israel for 14 years, which has resulted in a dire humanitarian situation which, according to a UN report, would be “unlivable” in 2020.
At least 800,000 people do not have access to drinking water and the electricity works only a few hours a day. Additionally, the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated an already weak healthcare system, with a shortage of medical equipment and drugs.
The RDNA report found that most of the damage in Gaza caused by the Israeli bombings in May was done to social sectors such as housing, health, education, social protection and employment, for one estimate. of $ 180 million.
“The housing sector alone accounts for nearly 93% of the total damage to social sectors,” the report said.
The report recommended that the international community increase its support for cash assistance programs for Palestinians in Gaza, ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid and transfer critical medical cases and patients out of Gaza.
“In the short term, Gaza’s socio-economic recovery will be determined by two factors: the level of funding available, including from donors, for reconstruction activities; and the extent of restrictions on the movement and access of people and goods entering Gaza, in particular the provision of essential reconstruction materials, ”the report said.
The report also called on Israel to provide access to certain materials vital for reconstruction that Israel has dubbed “dual-use materials” such as cement, chemicals and pipes.
He also called on Israel to establish a funding mechanism and allow sufficient quantities of fuel to enter Gaza.