The Gaza economy has been brought to a near standstill by the impact of war, according to the World Bank.

Washington-based development organization allocates $20m to aid citizens experiencing ‘multidimensional poverty’

The World Bank has reported that the economy of Gaza has come to a virtual halt due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. This has resulted in approximately 85% of workers being unemployed. The organization noted that Gaza is operating at only 16% of its normal productivity and is currently in a deep recession. As a response to the humanitarian crisis, the World Bank announced that they will provide $20m, evenly split between food and medical supplies, to be delivered through UN agencies.

The bank’s report states that the impact of the conflict has led to an unprecedented loss of life, damage to essential infrastructure, and a significant reduction in income across the Palestinian territories. More specifically, around 60% of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, health and education facilities, and commerce-related infrastructure have been damaged or destroyed. Additionally, almost half of all primary, secondary, and tertiary roads have suffered the same fate, leaving over half a million individuals without homes.

The World Bank found that economic activity in Gaza has nearly ceased since the start of the conflict. It was discovered that prior to the war, 45% of the population was experiencing multidimensional poverty, which includes low incomes and a lack of access to education and basic infrastructure. However, due to the impact of the conflict, poverty levels have worsened.

The report highlights the negative effects on education and access to basic services as a result of the hostilities. It also points out the increasing inflationary pressure and scarcity of essential goods. In October, prices in Gaza spiked by 12%, demonstrating a high demand for products that were becoming increasingly difficult to obtain locally. Food prices increased by an average of 10% per month, bottled water prices rose by 75%, and petrol prices by close to 120%.

The bank’s report concludes that the extensive shortages of basic products have greatly impacted the ability of households to afford them. This has resulted in a substantial decline in household welfare.

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