As per a new report titled Gaza – 10 years later released in July 2017 by the United Nations (UN), the living conditions for two million people in the Palestinian enclave are deteriorating “further and faster” than the prediction made in 2012 that the enclave would become “unlivable” by 2020.
The report, compiled by the UN country team in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, took stock of some key indicators identified in an earlier 2012 UN report that predicted Gaza would become “unlivable” by 2020 unless underlying trends were reversed.
Key highlights of the new report
• The new report states that the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita had decreased and the provision of health services continued to decline in Gaza, where average Palestinians are trapped in a “sad reality” and their daily lives are “getting more and more wretched.”
• The report called on Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the international community to take action towards more sustainable development investments, reinvigoration of Gaza's productive sectors, improvement of freedom of movement for both people and goods, as well as respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.
• However, Gaza has maintained high education standards, thanks to the services provided by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). However, average daily classroom time for students in Gaza remains as low as four hours.
• While an earlier projection that the coastal aquifer would become unusable by 2016 has been revised to the end of 2017, Gaza's only water source is predicted to be irreversibly-depleted by 2020, unless immediate remedial action is taken.
• Electricity supply is as low as at 90 megawatts in recent days against the 450 megawatts needed.
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