The economy in Gaza is collapsing
The economy in Gaza is collapsing, suffering from a decade long blockade and a recent drying up of liquidity, with aid flows no longer enough to stimulate growth according to a new World Bank report.
The result is an alarming situation with every second person living in poverty and the unemployment rate for its overwhelmingly young population at over 70 percent. This challenging situation is reflected on the citizens’ purchasing power, which led to the accumulation of goods in the grocery stores, which caused merchants and shop owners heavy financial losses.
Omar Hemedan, owner of vegetables and fruits shop at the central market in Gaza(economy in Gaza), was recently diagnosed with Rheumatism arthritis. “Last week I couldn’t carry the boxes and I had a severe pain in my arms and legs,” Omar said. He has seven children to feed, his oldest son Saed is a university student and also works for a small restaurant to help paying his tuition fees, meanwhile the rest of his kids are still high and primary school students. “People thought that we, sellers, increase the price of fruits and vegetables according to our desire, the fact this is not true, as we buy it we sell it, but thankfully they understand it now,” Omar added.
After Omar’s diagnose he is no longer allowed to carry heavy stuff, as a result this week his younger son A’asem had to sacrifice, leave school and started to help his dad.
Lots of people consider fruits as luxuries. Furthermore, they buy their essential needs of vegetables, only what’s needed for the day dinner.
Abu Adnan is a street vendor selling vegetables and fruits on his fruit cart in Khan Younis. “I envy the employee no matter how much he earns, he knows that finally will get paid even if it is a tiny amount and according to it he will manage his expenses. But for someone like me I have to go every morning in the extreme cold to get vegetables and sell them, I don’t know how much I will sell; besides of the poor life most people are living, most of the goods in the market may be not sold and become moldy.” Abu Adnan expressed.
Pointing out that in addition to the continuous closure of the crossings, the recent salary cut staff has exacerbated the recession of trade within the markets.
This reflects the difficult economic situation of citizens and the inability to satisfy all the essential needs of their children.