World Bank/UN report: war in Gaza destroys $18.5 billion in infrastructure

World Bank/UN report: war in Gaza destroys $18.5 billion in infrastructure

The war in Gaza has led to a loss of about $18.5 billion in infrastructure, according to a new report co-authored by the World Bank and the UN. 

Housing damage constitutes 72% of the costs, with public service infrastructure, such as water, health, and education, accounting for 19%, and damages to commercial and industrial buildings making up 9%. 

“The shock to Gaza’s economy as a result of the ongoing conflict is one of the largest observed in recent economic history,” the report said.

Over a million people are without homes, about 74% of Gazans are unemployed and GDP in the region has dropped by 86%. There is more than 26 million tons of debris and rubble. A cleanup process is expected to span several years.

The Interim Damage Assessment report represents the most comprehensive evaluation to date of the economic repercussions of the war. It looked at damage in Gaza between October and January. It said the pace of destruction seems to be leveling off due to the limited number of remaining intact assets.   

The findings offer one of the most detailed assessments yet of the destruction that’s resulted from the military campaign that Israel launched in the days after Hamas militants attacked the country’s south on Oct. 7 and killed some 1,200 people. About 32,000 Palestinians have been killed in the response, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

According to the report, about 74% of Palestinians in Gaza are now unemployed and the region’s GDP has dropped by 86% in the last quarter of the year.  

The report paints a dark humanitarian picture, with more than half the population of Gaza on the verge of famine and the entire population experiencing acute food insecurity and malnutrition. It said more than 1 million people have been left without homes and three quarters of the population is now displaced.

Even the delivery of basic humanitarian aid has become very difficult with more than 90% of main roads destroyed or damaged and communications greatly limited.

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