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A fundraising campaign has been launched to raise $20 million in support of the labor market in Palestine.
Middle East World News

A fundraising campaign has been launched to raise $20 million in support of the labor market in Palestine.

The request for funds, which was initiated on Thursday in Geneva, will be utilized to carry out a three-part plan that will offer immediate aid and aid in the long-term recovery of jobs and businesses, as well as provide social protection.

“The ongoing conflicts have led to a devastating loss of human lives and continue to have a severe impact on people’s livelihoods, employment, income, businesses, and civilian infrastructure,” stated Gilbert Houngbo, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), during the launch event held during the agency’s governing body meeting.

Economic activity crippled

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has released a report analyzing the effects of the recent conflict, which began on October 7th, on the labor market and livelihoods in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). The OPT is home to over 3.4 million people and has a labor force of 1.5 million.

The United Nations organization reports that approximately 61% of job opportunities in Gaza have been eliminated, totaling 182,000 jobs. Additionally, the conflict has affected the West Bank, resulting in a loss of about 24% of employment, equivalent to 208,000 jobs. This overall equates to a loss of $16 million in daily income from labor.

Mr. Houngbo described the devastation in Gaza, stating that entire communities have been demolished, essential structures have suffered significant harm, businesses have shut down, many people have been forced to flee their homes, and the scarcity of water, food, and fuel has greatly impacted the local economy.

Employees stuck, commerce limited

Furthermore, there are currently around 6,000 individuals who were employed in Israel before the conflict and are now stuck in the West Bank under very difficult circumstances. The United Nations personnel providing assistance and medical care are also at high risk.

Moreover, the restrictions implemented by Israel in the OPT have effectively eliminated the ability to access certain areas, as individuals with legitimate permits for employment and trade are denied entry into Israel and East Jerusalem at all checkpoints.

Restrictions on trade have also been imposed on essential goods passing through Israeli ports to the OPT, putting the basic necessities of families and the economy at risk.

The circumstances are expected to deteriorate.

Gaza has been under Israeli blockade since 2006, so conditions were already particularly dire even before the conflict.  The enclave has had persistently high rates of poverty and vulnerability and its unemployment rate – 46.4 per cent as of the second quarter of this year – is among the highest in the world.

“The losses uncovered by our research are expected to grow even larger if the conflict and devastating humanitarian crisis persist. These consequences will have lasting effects for years to come,” cautioned Ruba Jaradat, ILO Regional Director for Arab States.

Help, examination, and restoration

The program by the International Labor Organization (ILO) has three phases to address the effects of the crisis.

The initial priority is to address urgent needs and is currently in progress. This involves offering immediate aid, such as emergency livelihood support programs, to Palestinian workers, including those from Gaza who are currently unable to return to the West Bank due to job loss in Israel.

The ILO has allocated $2 million of its own resources for emergency relief efforts and collecting initial data. They are also in the process of allocating additional resources to put the response plan into action.

During the second phase, data will be gathered and analyzed to assist in the development, prioritization, and refinement of interventions.

The last stage deals with recuperation. The emphasis will be on generating employment opportunities through “labor-intensive infrastructure recovery” and other methods, along with implementing measures for social protection and restoring jobs and businesses.

The source of this information is the United Nations News website.