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August 15, 2018 9:03 am

World Bank Increases Yearly Allocation to Aid Gazans

avatar by Israel Hayom /

Fishing boats are seen at the seaport of Gaza City, Aug. 15, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa. – The World Bank plans to provide unemployed Gazans ‎with millions of dollars in aid, Israel Hayom learned on ‎Monday.‎

In late July, the World Bank announced that it would ‎increase its yearly ‎allocation to the Palestinians ‎from $55 million to $90 million because of “challenges ‎in ‎the Gaza Strip that have left the territory on ‎the ‎verge of economic and social collapse,” reported the ‎Bloomberg financial-news agency.‎

The latest World Bank initiative will funnel $17 ‎million to Gaza as part of a project that aims to ‎employ 4,400 Gazans ages 18 to 34, half of them ‎women, in third-sector organizations focused on ‎health care, education, and assistance for the ‎elderly and the disabled. ‎

The new project will also support the training of ‎‎750 young Palestinians in the fields of media and the Internet. ‎

Controlled by the Islamist terrorist group Hamas, ‎which ousted rival faction Fatah (the Palestinian Authority) in a military coup in 2007, the Gaza Strip has ‎been under an Israeli maritime blockade, and its land ‎crossings are subject to significant Israeli and ‎Egyptian restrictions.‎ Israel and Egypt both maintain the restrictions are ‎necessary to prevent Hamas from smuggling weapons ‎and terrorists into the Strip. ‎

However, the blockade has left Gaza’s economy in ‎a shambles. According to World Bank data, unemployment ‎in Gaza is estimated at 48%, compared to 13% in ‎the Fatah-controlled West Bank, and more than half of Gaza’s population, some 900,000 ‎people, live in poverty, with about a third of them ‎are unable to afford basic necessities such as ‎clothing, food, and shelter. ‎

‎“Economic instability and the lack of jobs prevent ‎educated young people in Gaza from contributing to ‎economic growth. In addition to a sharp drop in ‎basic services, such as water and electricity, this ‎is something that intensifies social tensions,” a ‎World Bank spokeswoman said in a statement.

‎The 189-member international financial ‎institution maintains 130 offices worldwide, and aims to reduce poverty and provide “a wide array ‎of financial products and technical assistance, and help countries share and apply innovative ‎knowledge and solutions to the challenges they ‎face.”

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