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UN: Unemployement in Gaza Reach Staggering 80%


Sun 09 Jun 2024 | 06:38 AM
Destruction from the latest siege of Gaza. Ashraf Amra/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Destruction from the latest siege of Gaza. Ashraf Amra/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Taarek Refaat

The United Nations (UN) announced on Friday that the war in Gaza had led to unemployment in the besieged Palestinian strip to rise to about 80%.

The UN labor agency said the war between Hamas and Israel "caused widespread loss of jobs and livelihoods", while the gross domestic product fell.

The International Labor Organization said in a statement about a new report it completed with the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, that since the start of the war on October 7, “the unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip has reached a staggering 79.1%,” according to what was reported by Agence France-Presse.

BMI expects the economy of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to contract by 15% in 2024.

The International Labor Organization added that the unemployment rate in the occupied West Bank reached 32%.

It explained that the average unemployment rate in the West Bank and Gaza Strip combined reached 50.8%.

The International Labor Organization confirmed that the real gross domestic product shrank by 83.5% in the Gaza Strip and by 22.7% in the West Bank during the past eight months.

“The new bulletin shows the heavy toll that the war in the Gaza Strip has taken on lives, and the miserable humanitarian situation it has caused, accompanied by widespread destruction of economic activities and livelihoods,” said ILO Regional Director Ruba Jaradat.

She pointed out that in the Gaza Strip, “all private sector establishments stopped production completely or reduced their production significantly, as the sector lost 85.8% of the value of its production, equivalent to 810 million US dollars, during the first four months of the war.”

Gaza's economy currently represents 4.1% of the total Palestinian economy, down from 16.7% before the war.

“Following the horrific atrocities committed by Hamas against Israel and the subsequent relentless war waged by Israel, the labor market in Gaza has virtually collapsed,” ILO Director-General Gilbert Houngbo said during the conference on Thursday.

"Gaza is in ruins. Livelihoods are destroyed and job opportunities are scarce. Workers' rights have been destroyed," Houngbo added.

He continued, "This has been the most difficult year for Palestinian workers since 1967. The situation has never been this bleak."