The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is joining with the United Nations Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP) in an initiative to create jobs in Gaza to help stem the raising tide of poverty and unemployment in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The project will construct 89 much-needed classrooms in 11 schools in the Gaza strip, and also carry out land reclamation projects. USAID is providing $2.6 million for the project, which will be implemented in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Education, the Union of Agricultural Workers, the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees, and the Arab Center for Agricultural Development.
An estimated 210,000 jobs have been lost by Palestinians since the beginning of the Intifada. The World Bank and the UN report that the ratio of the total population to the number of people employed has climbed by more than 50 percent since the start of the Intifada. In 2000, one worker supported 4.3 people in the West Bank and 5.9 in the Gaza Strip. The ratios are now 6.9 and 9.4 respectively.
It is estimated that two thirds of Palestinian households now live below the poverty line, 58 percent in the West Bank and 85 percent in Gaza. Furthermore, 57 percent of Palestinian households overall, 58 percent in the West Bank and 54 percent in Gaza, have lost half of their usual income since the beginning of the Intifada. — (menareport.com)
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