UN: Palestinian Economy Crippled by Covid-19, Israeli Occupation in 2020

Most economic activities in Palestine shrunk in 2020. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

The year 2020 was the worst for the Palestinian Authority (PA) since its establishment in 1994 due to the Israeli occupation and the coronavirus pandemic, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said Monday.

UNCTAD said in its annual report that the PA’s economic decline in 2020 was a continuation of its already bad economic conditions in 2019, the Middle East Monitor reported, adding that the UNCTAD blamed the COVID-19 and measures taken by the Israeli occupation for the economic downturn across the occupied Palestinian territories.

Palestine has been hit by COVID-19 in March 2020, forcing the PA to impose a lockdown in an effort to stem the spread of the pandemic, MEMO noted.

In the report, UNCTAD said that, despite the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, the Israeli occupation was the main obstacle to Palestinian development. It also noted that more than 66,000 Palestinians lost their jobs, leading the unemployment rate to soar to 26 percent.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the report said, the Palestinian economy was suffering disintegration and instability, amid economic and political deterioration due to the loss of natural resources to Jewish settlements illegally built on Palestinian lands.

UNCTAD concluded that in 2020 the Palestinian economy shrank by 11.5 percent, which constituted the second-biggest decline since the PA establishment.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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