About 96 percent of Gazans have been plunged into poverty due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza-ruling Hamas, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) briefed on Thursday.
This is compared to Gaza’s 45-percent poverty rate in 2017-2018, said ESCWA in a press release.
“Even if a cease-fire is agreed and humanitarian aid is allowed to enter Gaza, poverty and deprivation will affect a significant share of the population for years to come,” ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti was quoted by the release as saying.
The international community now has a compelling responsibility to ensure the flow of sufficient amounts of critical humanitarian aid to Gaza, she noted.
The UN official also called for the design and enactment of a recovery and sustainable development plan for Gaza beyond the immediate humanitarian needs, in line with a peace process that addresses the root causes of the recurring conflicts.
Israel and Hamas have engaged in a bloody conflict in Gaza since Oct. 7, when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israeli military targets and towns, prompting massive Israeli strikes on Gaza.
The conflict, as it entered the 20th day, has killed around 7,028 Palestinians in Gaza and at least 1,400 people in Israel, according to official figures from both sides.