|The Gaza Strip - Facts, Figures and UNDP’s|
Response to the Ongoing Crisis
The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places on earth, with a total area of 365 km2 and a population of over 1.4 million. Against the backdrop of occupation, the elections in 2006, the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip, and the resulting escalation in tensions, the situation for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip has worsened, with marked increases in unemployment, poverty and deaths. This situation has been compounded by the Cast Lead incursion in 2008/09. Not only have people’s livelihoods been severely affected, but also entire families are rendered homeless. In addition, the crippling effects of the closures have been widely felt, with hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost, people prevented from reaching their places of work, children unable to attend their schools, fuel and import shortages kept at a bare minimum, and the majority of the population dependant on humanitarian assistance.
The Gazan economy has come to a near standstill due to a combination of unemployment, closures, and restrictions placed on workers, industries, goods and services. With unemployment in Gaza reaching alarmingly high levels, the recent military operation has further paralyzed economic development, destroying much of the remaining productive resources, capital stock, and employment opportunities.