Israel's blockade on Palestine stifling development

A woman and her children collect firewood and paper for lighting a fire to bake bread in Ezbet Abd Rabbo.

Economic growth in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) showed some improvement in 2010, although unemployment, poverty and food insecurity remains high according to the UN Trade and Development  (UNCTAD).

The economy grew by 9.3 per cent but was largely driven by support provided by donors as opposed to local productivity.  

UNCTAD says restrictions on the importation of raw materials constrain private sector recovery and thwart public investment in infrastructure, while restrictionson the movement of goods to and from Gaza and the West Bank have also stifled the development of an export sector. 

Mahmoud Elkhafif is UNCTAD's Coordinator of the Assistance to the Palestinian People.

 ”In the last year about half of the Palestinians in all of the Palestinian Occupied Territories were affected by food insecurity. And the reason for that is about 35 per cent of the farmers in Gaza are not able to access their farms and 85 per cent of the maritime space available to Palestinian fishermen are no longer available. The Palestinian people to cope with this poverty they have a number of coping strategies, they are running down on their savings, they are selling their jewelry and furniture and so on and may be not sending their children to school.” 

Unemployment in Palestine is among the highest in the world, with nearly 50 per cent of youth under the age of 30 unable to find work.

 Duration 31"

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