1m Palestinians under poverty line in Gaza: UN | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 27, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:13 AM, November 27, 2020

1m Palestinians under poverty line in Gaza: UN

The Israel-led blockade of the Gaza Strip cost the Palestinian enclave more than $16bn and pushed more than one million people below the poverty line in just more than 10 years, according to a new United Nations report.

The document issued on Wednesday by the UN's Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to the General Assembly covered the years between 2007 and 2018.

It called for an immediate stop to the continuing siege that has caused a near-collapse of economic activities in Gaza and a poverty rate of 56 percent.

"The situation is going to get worse if the blockade continues," said Mahmoud Elkhafif, coordinator of the Assistance to the Palestinian People of UNCTAD.

"This unfair blockade in which two million Palestinians are kept inside Gaza should be lifted immediately. They should be allowed to move freely, do business, trade with the outside world and reconnect with their families outside of the Strip," Elkhafif added.

Since June 2007, people of Gaza have been confined to the 365 square kilometres enclave of the Strip and subject to a land, air and sea embargo.

The entry of goods has been reduced to a minimum, while external trade and exports have been stopped. Meanwhile, the population has very limited access to safe water and lack regular electricity supply or even a proper sewage system.

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