Publish date1 Jun 2020 - 10:28
Story Code : 464471

World Bank warns of COVID-19 doubling poverty in West Bank

The World Bank has warned of the destructive repercussions of the new coronavirus in the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank.
World Bank warns of COVID-19 doubling poverty in West Bank
In a report on Monday, the World Bank warned that poverty in the occupied West Bank may double as Palestinians are facing the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.

The UN agency said the Palestinian Authority's financial situation is expected to become increasingly difficult due to loss of income and increased spending on healthcare and other areas.

It added the fallout is expected to see the number of households living below the poverty line increase this year from 14 to 30 percent in the West Bank, largely due to Palestinians being unable to cross into Israel for work.

The global body also estimated that the Palestinian economy is set to shrink between 7.6 and 11 percent for 2020.

The PA last week announced an end to the lockdown it had imposed in early March across the West Bank after an outbreak of the COVID-19 illness in Bethlehem.

The easing allowed more than 63,000 Palestinians to pass through checkpoints for work on Sunday, according to the Israeli military branch handling civilian affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The borders of the Gaza Strip, which has been under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007, remain closed to all but a few returning Gazans, who are quarantined on arrival.

The poverty rate was already 53 percent in Gaza before the pandemic and the World Bank forecast it would jump to 64 percent this year.

“At this point, it is not possible to say how long it will take for the economy to recover from the current containment measures," the World Bank said.
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