63 percent of Palestinians live below poverty line
According to several new surveys conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), around 63 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (WBGS), a total of 2.5 million persons, now live below the poverty line, reported Atlas Investment Group, a Jordan-based research firm.
The poverty levels were highest in the Gaza Strip, standing at 84 percent, while in the West Bank levels were nearer to 54 percent. Median monthly income in the WBGS declined from 2,500 new Israeli shekels in September 2000, prior to the closures imposed by Israel, to reach NIS1,400 in March 2003. Overall, more than 47 percent of households lost 50 percent of their usual income.
In another survey, the PCBS concluded that the Palestinian labor force in the Jerusalem governorate, including the Israeli-annexed part of the city, suffers from unemployment levels of 25 percent.
With a population of almost 0.4 million, the governorate enjoys a labor force participation rate of 38 percent, with 32.5 percent of those employed working inside Israel or at Israeli settlements. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)