Palestinian Economy Deteriorates Due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has reached Palestine. The Palestinians who are already living in difficulties now must face a more difficult situation.

Palestinian Economy Deteriorates Due to COVID-19' photo
As the global pandemic looms, the need for medical assistance in Palestine rises. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, GAZA - COVID-19 cases have been found in almost all countries, infecting millions of people across the globe. This global pandemic poses a threat not only to health systems, but also to the economy. In a conflict-ridden country like Palestine, COVID-19 has deteriorated the lives of its citizens.

Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) talked to Ahmad Al-Najjar, one of ACT’s partners in Palestine about the latest condition in Palestine on Thursday (5/14). Through a video call, Ahmad said that, currently, the economic situation in Gaza has been increasingly difficult. Economic activities have been halted to curb the spread of COVID-19.

It clearly makes life more difficult for the people of Palestine, especially in Gaza. "Until now, Gaza is still besieged by the land, air, and sea blockade. Since the epidemic appeared, the conditions have been greatly changed in Gaza, especially the economy because various economic activities have been restricted, "Ahmad explained.

Ali Hayek, head of the Palestinian Businessmen Association, warned that the industrial sector is the one at the highest risk, Since the beginning of COVID-19 crisis, it has lost more than 10,000 jobs, leading to a 19% decrease in production rates. The emergency measures in Gaza over COVID-19 have put thousands of workers in the ranks of unemployment.

"This signals more deterioration and economic collapse. The economy in Gaza is going through a dangerous phase resulting from past accumulated crises," Hayek said in a press statement, as reported by Xinhua (4/13).

As of Friday (5/15), WHO reported 554 COVID-19 positive cases in Palestine. A total of 431 patients recovered, while 4 other patients were reported dead. This number is expected to grow.

Ahmad Najjar, who is also member of the Indonesian Medical Clinic for Gaza team, added that the Indonesian Medical Clinic has also been treating patients every day. Many of them are those wounded by Israeli attacks. The team are in urgent need of aid such as medicines, wheelchairs, and food supplies.

In addition, ACT’s ambulance in Gaza also continues to serve the Gazans. "Over a thousand ambulances have been destroyed in the conflict with Israel. Now, the presence of an ambulance from ACT is very helpful for the Palestinian population who need help," said Ahmad. []