Euromesco Spot-On n°16 – Covid-19 in Palestine: Economic slump, rising vulnerability and limited policy response
June 19, 2020
At the time of writing the paper, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and fatalities in Palestine remain very low, in absolute terms and also in comparison with other countries of the region. However, the pandemic is expected to have wide-reaching economic and social impacts, incommensurate with the prevalence of the virus in Palestine.
According to the report, the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS) foresees a decline of 20.3% in GDP compared to 2019. The Palestinian Government (GoP) estimates that economic losses due to the COVID-19 crisis will severely limit its ability to maintain existing public services. Activities in tourism and related sectors (accommodation and food service), as well as in transport services, are expected to be severely disrupted.
Workers in Israel and Israeli settlements in the West Bank are also among the groups most harshly hit by the pandemic. Workers in Israel are a major source of income for the Palestinian economy, providing subsistence for tens of thousands of families, and stimulating local consumption.
The second part of the paper is devoted to the Palestinian Government Response to the pandemic.