Palestinian employment fund proposed by the UN
The United Nations (UN) International Labor Organization (ILO) is planning to establish a Palestinian Fund for Employment and Social Protection. A donors meeting will be held next month to bring together both multilateral and Arab development funds.
Institutionalizing financial support for workers in the occupied Arab territories is one of a host of measures aimed at employment creation, which ranks high on the agenda of the ILO. The organization’s Director General Juan Somavia has submitted the idea of the Fund to the diplomatic ‘Quartet’ on the Middle East; the UN, European Union (EU), Russian Federation and the United States.
The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories (UNSCO)estimates that the overall unemployment rate for the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the second quarter of 2002 increased from roughly 36 percent to approximately 50 percent. When the curfews are imposed, unemployment hits 63.3 per cent, while poverty levels have jumped to 70 per cent in the Gaza Strip.
Income losses stand at $7.6 million per day, for a total of almost $3.3 billion since October 2000. Half of the 3.3-million population has had to borrow money to purchase food, while an estimated 1.5 million receive direct food assistance. About 17 percent of households had to sell assets to buy food. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)