One million Palestinians in Gaza are now moderately-to-severely food insecure, even though many already receive food assistance or other forms of social transfers – resulting in low resilience and high vulnerability to shocks. Unemployment stands at 43.2 per cent at the last quarter of 2016, unemployed people reached 218 thousands, which is more than twice as high as in the West Bank, while youth unemployment in Gaza currently stands at 58 per cent. Although the economy in Gaza has expanded by 21 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 due to an upsurge in construction activity, the World Bank warns that in the event of a resumption of any regression, the Gaza economy is expected to slip back into recession.
The blockade on the Gaza Strip entered its tenth year. Its devastating effect continues to be felt, under the title of “Collective Punishment” for about two millions. In 2016, there is no essential change on the blockade policy, as access to markets and people’s movement to and from the Gaza Strip remain severely restricted. The economy and its capacity to create jobs has been devastated, with the majority of the population now reliant on humanitarian aids to meet their basic needs. The number of Palestine refugees relying on UNRWA for food assistance has skyrocketed from less than 80,000 in 2000 to the over 900,000 today, and there are other 400 thousand people are deemed to be in need. Moreover, two year have passed after the Israeli aggression, thousands are still homeless after their homes are destroyed.