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June 2, 2020 9:04 am

World Bank Said Palestinian Economy Could Contract by 11 Percent

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A Palestinian Authority security forces patrol in Nablus, Nov. 16, 2016. Photo: Reuters / Abed Omar Qusini. – The World Bank said on Monday that the Palestinian economy, which is already struggling, is set to shrink by up to 11 percent this year because of the coronavirus crisis.

It noted that the Palestinian economy grew by only 1 percent in 2019 and will contract by 7.6 to 11 percent this year, according to an AP report. The Palestinian Authority expects to be short $1.5 billion this year, up from $800 million in 2019, according to the World Bank.

The poverty rate in the West Bank is likely to rise to 30 percent and in Gaza by 64 percent, according to the World Bank.

The UN Mideast envoy released a separate report that warned that if Israel annexed territories and the Palestinians withdrew from past agreements, that would “most likely trigger conflict and instability” in the region.

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“Several years of declining donor support and the limited economic instruments available have turned the ability of the government to protect livelihoods into a monumental task,” Kanthan Shankar, the World Bank director for the West Bank and Gaza, was quoted as saying by the AP.

This comes as meetings are scheduled this week of international donor countries to the PA.

With Israel’s support, the PA in the West Bank has kept the number of COVID-19 infections to less than 400, while in Gaza only an estimated 60 people are grappling with the virus.

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