Measures to fight COVID-19 in Gaza paralyse the economy

A group of volunteer youth carry out disinfection works at a refugee camp as part of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic precautions, in Khan Yunis, Gaza on March 29, 2020 [Mustafa Hassona / Anadolu Agency]

A group of volunteer youth carry out disinfection works at a refugee camp as part of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic precautions, in Khan Yunis, Gaza on March 29, 2020

The pre-emptive measures taken to fight the possible outbreak of coronavirus in Gaza have paralysed the economic situation in the occupied Gaza Strip.

While the coastal enclave has endured a strict Israeli siege since mid-2007, about 80 per cent of the residents already live under the poverty line and the besieged government is barely able to provide them with essential food.

This has pushed many people to ignore the restrictions on movement as they were obliged to leave their homes in order to find any kind of work so they could afford something for their children to eat.

Speaking to local newspaper Al-Ayyam, Salam Habib, 40, said that he had been unable to afford the essentials for his family for two weeks. The father of eight children said that this pushed him to go out and find any kind of work, adding:

At the beginning, I respected the instructions and did not leave my home, but when everything [I had ran out] I was obliged to go out.

Read: Arab MK warns of humanitarian disaster in West Bank and Gaza

Ibrahim Abu Kolkhal, who worked for a construction firm, said his money ran out two days after staying at home. “I was obliged to go to the vegetable market and find any kind of work,” he said.

Hani Abu Halima, 35, said that he was not able to stay home because the government is unable to provide the necessary food and drink for his family.

All of the three men blamed the Israeli siege which paralysed Gaza’s economy so that the government in the besieged enclave is unable to provide basic essentials for them.

The government in Gaza said that it is doing its best to keep the healthcare system standing and offering basic services, including for the people in quarantine and those who contracted coronavirus.

At the same time, it said that it has started distributing food packages for the families of thousands of people in quarantine.

Opinion: Gaza faces coronavirus alone after a 14-year lockdown

(Source / 30.03.2020) 

Geef een reactie

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd. Vereiste velden zijn gemarkeerd met *