Palestinian GDP seen falling 27% on seven months of war: UNDP

AFP , Thursday 2 May 2024

The Palestinian economy is estimated to shrink by 26.9 percent after seven months of Israel's Gaza war, with the poverty rate surging, said a new United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) assessment released Thursday.

A Palestinian man uses a horse-pulled cart as a taxi in Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip during Labour Day on May 1, 2024. AFP


The estimates, released with the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, also found that the Palestinian poverty rate will continue climbing to 58.4 percent.

Israel's war on Gaza has killed at least 34,596 people in Gaza -- mostly women and children -- including 28 over the past day, according to the Gaza health ministry.

Much of Gaza has been reduced to a grey landscape of rubble.

"Every additional day that this war continues is exacting huge and compounding costs to Gazans and all Palestinians," said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner in a statement.

"These new figures warn that the suffering in Gaza will not end when the war does," he added.

He warned of a "serious development crisis" stemming from the massive losses over a short span of time.

Should Israel's Gaza war continue for nine months, poverty is expected to more than double from pre-war levels, while the drop in gross domestic product would reach 29 percent, the UNDP said.

A World Bank report published early April said the Israel's Gaza war has caused damage of around $18.5 billion to Gaza's critical infrastructure.

This was equivalent to 97 percent of the combined economic output of the West Bank and Gaza in 2022.

The interim damage report covers the period from the onset of Israel's war on 7 October to end-January.

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