A recent report by UNRWA has put Gaza’s unemployment at 45.2%, the highest in the World. The report says that the Israeli siege is the main cause of this high rate of unemployment.
The report was released on the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Israeli siege of Gaza, which was imposed in June 2007 after the Hamas party took power in the Gaza Strip in accordance with the Palestinian constitution (the party had been elected to power in January 2006).
The report also claims that real wages have dropped by 34.5% since 2006.
UNRWA spokesman Sami Mushasha has stated that Palestinian refugees, who make up 1/3 of the Gaza population are most affected by the unemployment.
He said that “the number of people who are the poorest and living on less than one dollar a day has tripled to reach 300,000 since the imposition of the blockade.”
The report casts doubt on assertions of a booming economy in Gaza in the wake of IMF figures which claimed 16% economic growth in the area for 2010.
The AFP reported that UNRWA spokesperson, Chris Gunness, stated that the Israeli siege on Gaza “deliberately impoverishes hundreds of thousands of potentially productive Palestinians and condemns them to a life of destitution”.