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The World Bank: Covid 19 will double the number of poor Palestinian families

The World Bank announced that the number of poor Palestinian families may double this year in the occupied Palestinian territories due to Covid 19 epidemic that negatively affected economic activity and increased pressure on the Palestinian government to increase health measures.

In a study published today by the AP agency, the World Bank said that even before the outbreak of Covid 19 epidemic, about a quarter of the Palestinians lived below the poverty line, 53% of them in the Gaza Strip and 14 % in the West Bank, pointing out that preliminary estimates indicate that the number of poor families will rise to 30% in the West Bank and 64% in the  Gaza strip.

 

The report pointed out that thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank lost their jobs due to the epidemic crisis. At this stage with the gradual re-launch of the economy on May 1, it is not possible to know the time that the economy  will take to recover due to the measures taken to contain the epidemic.

The repot referred to the reduction of the gross domestic product in the Palestinian territories which will affect the Palestinian budget, with an expected deficit of 1.5 billion dollars this year, which is almost double compared to the previous year.

The World Bank indicated that the situation is expected to become more difficult for the Palestinian government, which will see a decrease in its revenues and an increase in its spending in the health field.

Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said that the expected losses of the Palestinian economy due to the repercussions of the current crisis of Covid 19 epidemic are estimated at 3 billion dollars, and that the losses will be greater if the crisis extends for a long time.

The United Nations' Middle East envoy Nikolai Mladenov also called on the international community to provide assistance to the Palestinian government to face the social and economic consequences of the Corona pandemic on the Palestinian people, especially in the Gaza Strip.

It is noteworthy that 627 cases of Corona virus were recorded in Palestine, 523 of which recovered and 3 died.

Inas Abdulkareem

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