Thu 22 Feb 2024 5:56 pm - Jerusalem Time

World Bank: The Palestinian economy is witnessing one of the largest shocks in history

The World Bank said that the Palestinian economy is exposed to one of the largest shocks in history, as a result of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip and its repercussions in the West Bank.

In its latest analysis of the effects of the aggression in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the bank reported today, Thursday, that “the Palestinian economy witnessed one of the largest shocks recorded in modern economic history, as the gross domestic product in Gaza declined by more than 80% in the fourth quarter of 2023. And by 22% in the West Bank during the same period.

The bank said, “Poverty was already high in Gaza before the outbreak of war, as more than half of families relied on aid as their main source of income. At present, almost all residents of Gaza live in extreme poverty and face a severe lack of food security. Poverty levels are also rising in the West Bank, due to the noticeable economic slowdown and restricted public financial capabilities, which affects the effectiveness of social protection programs.” The World Bank expects that poverty levels in the Palestinian territories at the end of 2023 will exceed the levels recorded in 2020, during the peak of restrictions related to the Corona pandemic.

Yesterday, the bank announced a grant worth $30 million to pay the salaries of public school teachers in the West Bank, in addition to another grant worth $35 million announced last December, to support the provision of food, water, and health services in emergency situations to residents of Gaza.

The bank said: The sharp decline in economic activity, including trade, along with the lack of clearing revenues since October 2023, has exacerbated the already severe public financial crisis, which has severely affected the provision of public services, and this grant ($30 million) will support the payment of... Salaries of teachers and staff in public schools, to help ensure that students do not miss out on basic education.

The bank added: Given that 40% of the population is under 15 years old, education is one of the largest items of public sector spending in the West Bank. The sharp decline in revenues has led to the reduction or deferral of wages for public sector employees. Teacher salaries have fallen by almost half since October.


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World Bank: The Palestinian economy is witnessing one of the largest shocks in history