Ali Waked | YNet News
8 September 2009
A UN report published Tuesday says poverty in the Gaza Strip has deteriorated to levels unseen since 1967.
The UN trade and development agency says 90% of Gaza’s residents are currently beneath the poverty line and rates the damages caused by the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead at $4 billion, a sum it claims is three times larger than the Strip’s annual market performance.
The agency claims the operation halted all trade in the Gaza Strip, creating a deficit of around $88 million. This, in addition to material damages and loss of finances due to the siege and trade limitations later imposed on the Strip, make up the final sum.
The agency’s report claims the Strip has not been in such dire straits since 1967, and that the government has become the residents’ main force of employment.
Gaza’s production capabilities are also on a permanent downslide, the UN agency says, and its economy has been recessing for nine years.
The agency offers no solution, and says it regrets that the $4.4 billion dollars pledged to the Strip during a Sharm El-Sheikh conference has not yet reached its destination.
The conference, held in the Egyptian city in March, hosted representatives from 45 different nations. The US pledged $900 million, a third of the sum pledged during the conference.