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Gaza economy shrank by over 80% in Q4 due to conflict: World Bank

Gaza’s economy contracted by more than 80% in the fourth quarter of last year due to the Israel-Palestine conflict, which has had a “catastrophic” impact on the Palestinian enclave’s infrastructure, the World Bank said Thursday.

The ongoing conflict has caused widespread damage and destruction across Gaza, and caused a “massive loss of life,” the bank said in a statement.

Israel launched its brutal war on Gaza killing tens of thousands of civilians after the Oct. 7 Hamas incursion killed 1,160 people and seized 253 hostages.

Since then, nearly 30,000 people, mostly women and children, have been confirmed killed by Israel in Gaza, according to health authorities, with thousands more feared dead and unrecovered under buildings reduced to wasteland.

Beyond the devastating human impact, “Almost all economic activity in Gaza has ground to a halt,” the bank said.

“Since the start of the conflict, the Palestinian economy experienced one of largest shocks recorded in recent economic history,” it added.

The World Bank pointed to preliminary estimates from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), which found that Gaza’s gross domestic product (GDP) has “plummeted by more than 80%” – from around $670 million in the third quarter to just $90 million in the fourth quarter.

This 80% quarterly decline amounts to an annual drop of 24%, the bank continued, adding that “the observed level of fixed assets damage and destruction is catastrophic.”

“Nearly every resident of Gaza will live in poverty, at least in the short term,” it said.

Amid the ongoing conflict, the Bank announced a $30 million grant Thursday “to help ensure the continuity of crucial education for children.”

“This grant will contribute to the education sector to help ensure that learners don’t miss out on essential education,” it said in a statement.

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