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Gaza: Economic losses due to coronavirus estimated at $200m

The economic losses of the besieged Gaza Strip are estimated at $200 million due to the Israeli siege and the coronavirus, head of the Popular Committee Against Gaza Siege, MP Jamal Al-Khodari, revealed on Friday.

Al-Khodari announced in a statement: “These are the direct and indirect losses of the industrial, commercial, construction and tourism sectors.”

He noted that almost all economic sectors are in recess now because of the coronavirus, adding to this the Israeli occupation siege and the shortage of cash.

“This situation increased the poverty rate,” noting that the Palestinians in Gaza had no savings prior to the outbreak of the pandemic due to the 14-year-long strict Israeli siege.

Al-Khodari highlighted that even the stable world economies are suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic:

What about the Gaza Strip, which had already collapsed before the outbreak of the virus due to the Israeli siege?

In order to help solve the problems in Gaza, he asserted that the international community must put pressure on Israel to lift its siege on Gaza, and that there must be joint international, Islamic and Arabic relief efforts to meet Gaza’s medical, food and humanitarian needs.

Meanwhile, he called for the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to increase its food and medical aid.

As a precautionary measure, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced on 6 March a state of emergency, which included the closure of official institutions.

Most private sector institutions, and industrial and commercial facilities followed suit, putting the economy on hold.