One third of Palestinians are living below poverty line, the Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Labour Mamoun abu-Shahla said on Monday.
The unemployment rate stands at 28 per cent, he explained, 30 per cent among university graduates and 73 per cent among women.
The minister noted that the annual income of Palestinians is less than $2,000, compared with Israelis who earn in excess of $40,000.
Abu-Shahla’s remarks came during his speech in the 44th meeting of the Arabic Work Conference being organised and held by the Arabic Work Organisation in Cairo, Egypt.
During the conference, the minister called for the conference to help the PA not only rebuild what was destroyed by the Israeli occupation, but to fund work programmes to afford opportunities for more than 400,000 Palestinian youths.
He also said that at least there are 320,000 Palestinian families are living below the poverty line of $2 a day. “We need long-term financial loans with low interest rates,” he said. “We need to open the door for applying for jobs in your countries.”
The minister concluded: “We are looking forward to raising $1 billion in the coming three years. We are planning to lay out practical plans for projects to face the unemployment and poverty rates and build a vocational training centre.”