May 2, 2024, 3:57 PM

Gaza war thrusts additional 1.74 mn people into poverty: UN

Gaza war thrusts additional 1.74 mn people into poverty: UN

TEHRAN, May 02 (MNA) – Now in its seventh month, the war in the Gaza Strip pushed an additional 1.74 million people into poverty with the poverty rate at 58.4%, the UN development agency said in its report.

"The gross domestic product (GDP) sustains a staggering plunge by 26.9 percent—a loss of US$7.1 billion from a 2023 no-war baseline," the UNDP said Wednesday in its updated report on Gaza.

“Every additional day that this war continues is exacting huge and compounding costs to Gazans and all Palestinians, now and in the medium and long term. Compared to our preliminary assessment, these new figures warn that the suffering in Gaza will not end when the war does,” the statement cited the UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner as saying.

"Unprecedented levels of human losses, capital destruction, and the steep rise in poverty in such a short period will precipitate a serious development crisis that jeopardizes the future of generations to come," Steiner added, Anadolu reported.

If the war rages on for nine months, estimates forecast that the poverty is expected "to more than double (increasing to 60.7 percent, 2.25 times of pre-war levels), raising the number of additional people pushed into poverty to more than 1.86 million, while the decrease of GDP would reach 29 percent with total losses of US$7.6 billion."

"The assessment also warns of a sharp decline in the Human Development Index (HDI), UNDP’s summary measure of wellbeing, as the setback in human development in the State of Palestine may exceed two decades—to earlier than 2004, when the HDI was first calculated for the State of Palestine."

The report stated that poverty increased by 114.2% in the first six months of the attacks. The poverty rate in Palestine increased from 26.7% to 57.2% of the population, and the number of poor people reached 3.13 million people, with approximately 1.67 million more pushed into poverty, it added.

It was estimated that seven months after the start of the attacks, the loss in Palestinian GDP would be $7.1 billion and the poverty rate would increase by 118.7% to 58.4% of the population.

The report pointed out that if the war continues for up to 9 months, the poverty rate is expected to rise to 60.7% of the population, pushing a large part of the middle class below the poverty line and increasing the number of people living in poverty by 1.86 million.

The report estimated that the unemployment rate in the occupied Palestinian territories, which was 25.7% prior to the attacks, reached 46.1% in six months and could rise to 47.8% in the ninth month.

More than six months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins, pushing 85% of the enclave’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine, according to the UN.


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