GAZA, May 31, 2015 (WAFA) – The latest World Bank economic update said that Gaza’s unemployment rate – at 43.9% – is now the highest in the world, stressing that Israel’s blockade on the strip caused a 50% decrease of Gaza’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
UNRWA, in a press release, reported on the World Bank as stating the average of youth unemployment in Gaza rose to more than 60% by the end of 2014.
The report was presented to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), a principal policy-level coordination mechanism for development assistance to the Palestinian people, at the bi-annual meeting in Brussels on May 27, 2015.
According to the report, Gaza’s GDP would have been about four times higher than it currently is if it weren’t for the conflicts and multiple restrictions. It also considers that the Israeli imposed blockade, in place since 2007, has resulted in a 50 percent decrease of Gaza’s GDP.
The report further states that in 2014 the average monthly salary in Gaza amounted to $174; with a poverty rate of 39 percent, an 11 percent increase from 2013.
Real per capita income – approximately $970.3 in 2014 – is 31% lower than it was 20 years ago, while the population has at the same time increased by 230%, it said.
The World Bank also estimated that the Israeli aggression in 2014 have resulted in a $460 million decrease of the Strip’s output; the massive destruction has led to losses close to US$ 4.4 billion.
The report also highlights that Gaza's population suffers from poor access to social services and underlines the alarming quality of basic public services such as electricity, water, and sewerage.
Nearly 80% of the population receives social assistance, and nearly 40% of them still fall below the poverty line, according to the World Bank.