Economic note on Gaza: crossings update and impact of COVID-19


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Economic note on Gaza: crossings update and impact of COVID-19

November 2, 2020

Gaza’s economy has been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses have been disrupted by the movement restrictions, quarantines, and other safety measures imposed across Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank. Many families have lost their income and many others are only collecting part-time wages. According to the de facto Ministry of Labor, over 109,000 laborers in 41,000 businesses from different economic sectors have been either fully or partially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic arrived with the Gaza economy already in collapse, with unemployment at almost 43 per cent in the last quarter of 2019, youth unemployment at 64 per cent, and some 53 percent of the population living below the US$4.6 poverty line. Since opening in February 2018, the Salah ad-Din crossing has become increasingly important to the goods trade in Gaza. This trend has increased in the past few months, with the crossing becoming the primary channel for cement and fuel to enter Gaza, instead of Kerem Shalom.

This note assesses the economic impact of the pandemic as of early April 2020; it is based on information from de facto authorities and private sector sources and the results of surveys conducted by industrial unions.