UN report: Poverty rate in Palestinian territories hits 63%
Some two million Palestinians are living on less than $2 a day, soaring the poverty rate of 63 percent in mid-2003, a UN report said on Friday.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) prepared a report about the social and economic situation of the Palestinian people and disclosed that Israel is working to empty the occupied territories of its natives through the hard-hitting of its infrastructure, razing lands and construction of the wall.
The Executive Secretary of ESCWA, Ms. Mervat Tilawi, briefed in a press conference on the “Economic and Social Repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the Economic and Social Condition of the Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Including Jerusalem" at the UN house in Beirut.
The report was prepared by ESCWA on behalf of the United Nations Secretary General upon a resolution of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) number 59/2003 dated 24 July 2003. The report was presented to the Council on its 59th Session held at the UN in New York from 28 June to 23 July 2004.
The report focused mainly on four key points; the hindrances and restriction on movement, the growing number of the illegal Israeli settlements, devastation of the territories infrastructure and bulldozing of lands, demolishing of water wells and the building of the West Bank Wall.
“Israeli occupation is aiming to drain out the occupied Palestinian territories of its indigenous, casting further doubts on the efficiency of the diplomatic unilateral and bilateral moves on the purpose to find a solution for the Arab–Israeli conflict,“ ESCWA report noted.
The report included further statistical details about the exacerbated socio-economic difficulties the Palestinian endures due to the Israeli occupation.
The economic indicators witnessed sharp setbacks as unemployment rate soared to 70% in some areas.
By March 2003, 42 percent of families were destitute and dependent on humanitarian assistance. ESCWA said the World Bank had described the recession in the Palestinian territories as "one of the worst in modern history."
"The present review period demonstrates mounting economic and social damage under military occupation," the ESCWA report researched between January 2003 and February 2004.
"Most economic and social data show marked deterioration of living conditions for the Palestinian people, including new forms of dispossession and destruction of private and public assets of all kinds."
The report pointed out that one-third of the West Bank was suffering due the forcible seizure of land and water resources for building and expanding further illegal Israeli settlements and the construction of the wall in the West Bank. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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