The UN: Gaza’s economy may take decades to recover

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UNCTAD published a report on the social and economic deterioration in Gaza since the start of the military operation after October 7, 2023.

In the statement made about the study at the conference, it was stated that the report measures GDP loss, recovery timelines and lasting impacts on poverty and household expenditures.

In the UNCTAD statement, it is stated that the economy is expected to contract by 4.5 percent in the first three quarters of 2023.

The military operation has significantly accelerated this decline, and the GDP is expected to contract by 24 percent and the per capita GDP to decline by 26.1 percent throughout the year.

The statement stressed that if this trend continues with an average growth rate of 0.4%, it may take until 2092 for Gaza’s per capita GDP to return to 2022 levels, and that social and economic conditions are constantly deteriorating.

The statement indicated that even under the most optimistic scenario, the gross domestic product could grow by 10 percent annually.

It will take 2035 for Gaza’s per capita GDP to reach its level before the 2006 blockade.

The cost of recovering Gaza’s economy from the current military operation will be many times greater than the $3.9 billion generated by the 2014 military operation in Gaza.

Noting that this will require commitment, the statement stressed the need for a joint international effort to restore the social and economic conditions that prevailed before the conflict.

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The statement indicated that social and economic conditions in Gaza are bad in 2022 and the first half of 2023.

More than 2 million Gazans live in one of the most densely populated areas in the world with insufficient access to clean water and a shortage of clean water.

It was recalled that before the start of the recent military operation, two-thirds of the population lived in poverty, and the unemployment rate was 45 percent.

The statement stressed that restoring the social and economic conditions that prevailed before the conflict in Gaza will take decades and require significant foreign aid.

The ongoing military operation led to the displacement of 85% of the population of Gaza, the cessation of economic activities, and the exacerbation of poverty and unemployment.

The statement stated that the unemployment rate rose to 79.3% until December 2023, and that 18% of the total buildings in the Gaza Strip were damaged or destroyed due to the operation.

The Gaza Strip, where half of the population is children, does not have adequate sources of income, water, or sanitation, and it has been noted that it has become almost uninhabitable due to the presence of people who do not have access to health and education services.