Due to the ongoing conflict in the region, poverty in Palestine has been a notable topic. Below are 10 facts about poverty in Palestine that describe the statistics of the issue, yet portray hope for the future.
Facts About Poverty in Palestine
- Statistics show how poverty in Palestine is rampant. Approximately 26 percent of individuals fall into the poverty rate of having an average monthly household consumption of 985.8 Jordanian Dinar, which is equivalent to approximately $1,389.44 USD. The deep poverty rate is 13 percent. Lastly, the real GDP growth rate is zero percent.
- Palestine’s history lends itself to high unemployment rates. The 2016 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics report shows that only 32.5 percent of Palestinians were working full time. Since 2013, the unemployment rate has steadily increased from 23 percent to approximately 27 percent. The highest unemployment rate is between the ages of 14 to 24, with 41.7 unemployment rate.
- Education does not extend much past the preparatory phase as about 38 percent of Palestinians receive this education. This is the average education for Palestinians. Only 13 percent achieve a Bachelor’s degree and on the other end of the spectrum, approximately three percent are illiterate. Following this pattern, as Palestinian children age, the educational attendance rate drops significantly. From 6 to 11 years of age, 98.4 percent attended school, while of those who are 18 years of age and older, only 11.4 percent attend education. Overall, about 40 percent of young Palestinians are attending schools.
The Role of Oxfam International in Palestine
- According to Oxfam International, 80 percent of the Palestinian population relies on humanitarian aid to survive. Many people living in the occupied territories have little access to basic services. Millions are denied the right to free movement to access their basic needs. These issues lead to the extreme poverty in Palestine.
- Since 1950, Oxfam International has been working in the occupied territories partnering with approximately 60 organizations to help the most vulnerable communities of Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Area C, “the 61 percent of the West Bank where the government of Israel maintains full military and civil control.”
- In these communities, Oxfam International helps citizens in a variety of sectors improve their quality of life and to reduce the poverty in Palestine. This organization advocates for land rights and rights of women and other marginalized groups. Oxfam also helps improve the quality of farms and help women start businesses. Overall, they “campaign for lasting peace, security for all civilians, respect for international law and an end to the blockade.”
Sustainable Development Goals Affected by Poverty
- In Palestine, 1.3 million do not have access to, or cannot afford, nutritious food. This is approximately 22.5 percent of the population. Food insecurity affects families headed by women more, accounting for approximately 36 percent of families, as opposed to the 21 percent of families headed by men that are food insecure. These statistics are even higher in the Gaza Strip, where 39 percent of families are food insecure.
- In 2015, the United Nations created the Sustainable Development Goals, which include Zero Hunger, food security, and improved nutrition. With the ongoing conflict, economic stagnation, restricted trade and access to resources, high unemployment and high poverty rates, Palestine faces difficulties reaching these goals.
- In 1991, the World Food Programme started assisting communities with high prevalence of food insecurity. Food insecurity is increased with the constant conflict, restricted movement, and reduced access to land. This organization is helping Palestine reach the Zero Hunger sustainable development goal.
- Other Sustainable Development Goals affected by the restricted movement and armed conflict include good health and well-being, quality education, and reduced inequalities, among others. These goals show how interconnected conflict, poor education and other injustices are to poverty.
These facts about poverty in Palestine demonstrate how help is available, but more programs led by organizations like Oxfam and the World Food Program are necessary to expedite Palestine’s ability to reach the Sustainable Development Goal of no poverty.
– Jenna Walmer