There has been a long history of conflicts between Israel and Palestine coupled with a tremendous number of casualties.
People keep suffering from the never-ending conflicts and the sense of despair is ingrained in society.
Of those conflict-affected areas, Gaza strip, occupied Palestinian territory, has experienced at least 3 big wars in the past 10 years. The unemployment rate in Gaza is as high as 50%, depending on sources, 70% for the youth between 15 and 29 years old, and almost 85% for the female population.
Land area: 365 km2 (About 60% of Tokyo City)
Population: About 1.76 million
Land area: 5,655 km2
Population: About 2.79 million
Land area: 22,000 km2
Population: About 8.34 million
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Despite the fact that roughly 80 % of the population in Gaza receives some aid, 39% of them live near the poverty line, and the overall unemployment rate reaches 43% and more than 60% among the youth.
From 1994 through 2014, the economic development rate in Gaza remained a few percent, while other Arab and low-income countries have experienced more than 200% of economic growth and West Bank also showed some records of development.
50 days of Gaza War in 2014 brought a huge damage to Gazan economy, causing $460 million economic loss which equals 15 % of its GDP.
The destroyed buildings are yet to be rebuilt, and lifelines like electricity and water are not fully secured.
Though international aid leading by UNRWA has allowed some young people to get education and jobs, most of them are still facing too many obstacles, including poverty, unstable lifelines, limited employment opportunities, etc., to thrive in their society.
In order to reduce people’s suffering and brighten hope for the future under these circumstances, what we believe is needed most is an innovative business solution.
Source: The World Bank, “Economic Monitoring Report to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee”