Gaza facing ‘dangerous fiscal crisis’: World Bank

Published May 24th, 2015 - 09:23 GMT

Nearly a year after the 50-day Gaza war, the World Bank urged Palestinians, Israelis and donors to act on the Gaza Strip's high unemployment rate to avoid a "dangerous fiscal crisis," AFP reported, and called for a unified Palestinian government.

The World Bank's report was released Friday and came ahead of a meeting for the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which coordinates international donations for Palestinians. According to the report the Gaza Strip's economic crisis follows the disappearance of exports that come from the Israeli blockade.

"The impact of the blockade imposed in 2007 was particularly devastating, with GDP losses caused by the blockade estimated at above 50 percent and large welfare losses," the report said according to AFP.

The World Bank said actions need to be taken to carry out "reform" and reverse the slowdown of economic growth. The Gaza Strip's unemployment rate jumped to 44 percent in 2014 and the poverty rate in Palestinian territory reached 39 percent. The report also called for a unified Palestinian government between the West Bank and Gaza.

While the report pointed out that only $1 billion has been disbursed from the $3.5 billion pledged by the international community, the more harmful limitation was tha lack of imports — especially construction materials — to Gaza.

The Rafah border crossing with Egypt has been closed by Cairo since October when troops created a buffer zone

The World Bank will present its report to AHLC on Wednesday, AFP reported.


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