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UN foresees serious development crisis in Gaza due to conflict

United Nations, May 2 (Prensa Latina) The war in Gaza pushed almost 1.74 million more Palestinians into impoverishment in the last six months, raising the poverty rate to 58.4 percent, a report prepared by the United Nations warned today.

The analysis titled, The Gaza War: Expected Socio-Economic Impacts on the State of Palestine, confirms a staggering 26.9 percent drop in Gross Domestic Product, representing a loss of $7.1 billion over the 2023 forecast.

Prepared by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the update estimates that the unemployment rate in the occupied territories could increase by approximately 0.5 additional points for each month of the offensive.

That rate would range from 46.1 percent after six months of conflict to 47.8 percent after nine months.

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner stressed the costs and aggravations of the war for the people of Gaza and all Palestinians every day that passes, with an unprecedented toll of human loss, capital destruction, and a steep rise in poverty, in such a short period.

“Compared to our preliminary assessment, these new figures warn that the suffering in Gaza will not end when the war ends,” he said, warning of a severe development crisis that will jeopardize the future of generations to come.

The drop in GDP would then reach 29 percent with total losses of seven.6 billion dollars.

Unlike previous wars, the current destruction in Gaza is unprecedented in scope and scale and, coupled with the loss of homes, livelihoods, natural resources, infrastructure, and institutional capacities, may have profound and systemic impacts for decades to come, said ESCWA.

The assessment projects that Gaza will become dependent on external assistance on a scale not seen since 1948, as it will be left without a functioning economy, any means of production, self-sufficiency, employment, or trade capacity, warned ESCWA, Executive Secretary Rola Dashti.