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Gaza loses 61 percent of jobs in Israel-Hamas war, UN agency says

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International Labour Organization says economic impact of the conflict will reverberate for ‘many years to come’.

Gaza has lost at least 61 percent of its jobs since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, the United Nations labour agency has said, warning that the economic fallout will reverberate for “many years to come”.

The Palestinian territory’s estimated employment losses are equivalent to 182,000 jobs, the International Labour Organization said on Monday in an assessment of the economic impact of the conflict.

“Our initial assessment of the repercussions of the tragic current crisis on the Palestinian labour market have yielded extremely worrying results, which will only worsen if the conflict continues,” said Ruba Jaradat, the ILO’s Regional Director for Arab States.

“The ongoing hostilities not only represent an enormous humanitarian crisis in terms of loss of lives and basic human needs, they also represent a social and economic crisis which has caused vast damage to jobs and businesses, with reverberations that will be felt for many years to come.”

The occupied West Bank has also lost an estimated 24 percent of its employment, the equivalent of 208,000 jobs, due to spillover effects of the war, the ILO said.

When combined, job losses in the two Palestinian territories translate into estimated daily income losses of $16m, according to the UN agency.

Jaradat said residents in Gaza must be allowed “full, rapid, safe, and unhindered” access to humanitarian aid.

“We are working tirelessly with government, worker and employer partners, other UN agencies and humanitarian actors to provide immediate assistance to impacted workers and businesses,” she said

“We will also support them in the longer term towards collecting vital labour market information and recovering jobs and enterprises, combined with social protection initiatives, to the utmost extent of our mandate.”

Gaza, which has been under an Israeli blockade since 2005, suffered from severe economic deprivation even before the start of the latest conflict.

Unemployment in the territory stood at 46.4 percent in the second quarter of 2023, one of the highest rates in the world.

More than 80 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, according to the UN.

Shortages of food, water and medical supplies have worsened since Israel tightened its blockade and began bombarding the enclave after Hamas’s October 7 attacks on Israeli communities, which officials say killed at least 1,405 people, mostly civilians

At least 10,022 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s bombardment since then, according to officials in the Hamas-governed enclave

source by ALjazeera