World Bank: $18.5 billion Cost of Damage to Critical Infrastructure in Gaza

Washington: The cost of damage to critical infrastructure in Gaza is estimated at around $18.5 billion according to a new report released today by the World Bank and the United Nations, with financial support of the European Union. That is equivalent to 97% of the combined GDP of the West Bank and Gaza in 2022. The Interim Damage Assessment report used remote data collection sources to measure damage to physical infrastructure in critical sectors incurred between October 2023 and end of January 2024. The report finds that damage to structures affects every sector of the economy. Housing accounts for 72% of the costs. Public service infrastructure such as water, health, and education account for 19%, and damages to commercial and industrial buildings account for 9%. For several sectors, the rate of damage appears to be leveling off as few assets remain intact. An estimated 26 million tons of debris and rubble have been left in the wake of the destruction, an amount that is estimated to take years to remove. T he report also looks at the impact on the people of Gaza. More than half the population of Gaza is on the brink of famine and the entire population is experiencing acute food insecurity and malnutrition. Over a million people are without homes and 75% of the population is displaced. Catastrophic cumulative impacts on physical and mental health have hit women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities the hardest, with the youngest children anticipated to be facing life-long consequences to their development. Source: Qatar News Agency