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9 months of war will wipe out 44 years of human development in Gaza: UN report

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-05-03 04:48

Israeli tanks are parked near the Israel-Gaza border, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Israel, May 2, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

UNITED NATIONS -- Human development in Gaza will be set back by 44 years if the current war continues for nine months, warns a UN report.

In their report released on Thursday, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) estimate that at six months of war, the human development index (HDI) in Gaza will have dropped to 0.598, setting back human development by 33 years. At seven months, the HDI will further reduce to 0.582, a setback of 37 years.

If the war continues for nine months, 44 years of progress will be wiped out, bringing Gaza back to the levels of 1980.

For the entire Palestine, at six months, human development will be set back by 17 years. After nine months, more than 20 years of progress will be wiped out, according to the report.

As the war approaches its seventh month, the poverty rate in Palestine will reach 58.4 percent, thrusting nearly 1.74 million additional people into poverty.

Palestine's gross domestic product will plunge by 26.9 percent, representing a loss of $7.1 billion from a 2023 no-war baseline.

In a scenario where the war continues for nine months, poverty is estimated to reach 60.7 percent, 2.25 times of pre-war levels, pushing over 1.86 million additional people into poverty.

Unemployment across Palestine could reach 46.7 percent after seven months of war, compared with 25.7 percent before the war. Before the war, Gaza was already grappling with an unemployment rate of 45 percent, with youth unemployment at nearly 60 percent.

The UNDP-ESCWA report was an update of their joint initial rapid assessment released in November 2023.

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