6 months into war, Palestinians face high unemployment and a ‘disastrous’ economy

Six months into the war, Palestinians are experiencing high unemployment rates and a declining economy, causing significant lifestyle changes and increasing social issues.

The backdrop: Six months ago, a war was triggered between Israel and Hamas due to an attack by Hamas-backed militants, which resulted in the loss of over 1,200 lives and 240 hostages, according to Israeli authorities. This conflict has had profound impacts on the Palestinian economy.
* More than 110,000 Palestinians who held permits to work in Israel or Israeli settlements lost their jobs after Oct. 7, due to suspensions of work permits imposed by Israel.

Impact on daily life: Palestinian families are coping by reducing their food expenses and overall spending, significantly affecting the quality of life.
* Amani Zeita’s family, for instance, can now only afford to buy half a kilo of meat, as opposed to one kilo they would buy previously.
* The traditional Ramadan festivities and get-togethers have also been significantly trimmed down due to budget constraints.

Dire statistics: The Director of Policy with the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Labor, Azmi Abdel Rahman, revealed that nearly 700,000 Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are unemployed.
* The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated that about 507,000 jobs have been lost in this region as of end of January.
* If the war continues until the end of June 2024, the annual unemployment rate could rise close to 46%.

Looking ahead: The Palestinian Authority has created a relief plan targeted at donor countries, in hopes of funding a program that could boost the region’s economy and support its people.
* The International Labour Organization is also working with other UN agencies to implement a three-phase relief program to aid working families and employers in Palestine.

View original article on NPR
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