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Wake Up Palestine – The False Growth and a Way Forward

WB Country Director: "The way ahead is still uncertain and depends on coordinated actions by all parties in revitalizing the economy."

Jerusalem24 – The Palestinian economy is showing signs of recovery largely due to improved activity in the West Bank. However, Gaza still suffers from a particularly difficult economic situation with a very high unemployment rate and deteriorating social conditions.

Palestinians shop while wearing protective masks amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, on May 7, 2020. (Photo Credit: ABBAS MOMANI/AFP)

In the current economic context, the outlook is uncertain as sustainable sources of growth remain limited. According to Kanthan Shankar, World Bank Country Director in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, “the current consumption-led growth in the West Bank reflects a rebound from a low base in 2020, exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis.”

What growth we are seeing is simply due to people make economic moves after global lockdown in 2020 that froze the world’s entire economy. The Palestinian economy still suffers from different restrictions.

Shankar says, “The way ahead is still uncertain and depends on coordinated actions by all parties in revitalizing the economy and providing job opportunities for the young population.”

The World Bank has recently issued an economic report. The issuance of the report is timed with a ministerial level of donors’ meeting, called Ad Hoc Liaison Committee – AHLC meeting, which took place in Oslo this year.

In this episode of Wake Up Palestine, Mohammad Hamayel speaks with Kanthan Shankar, the Country Director of the World Bank in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Together they discuss the difficult situation of the Palestinian authority, the troubled Palestinian economy and what can be done to move forward.

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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