“The risk is that what little development was being promoted before Covid will disappear” in the Palestinian Territories and “that we will go back to doing only humanitarian work”.
This is the alarm launched by Luigi Bisceglia, representative of the Italian NGO VIS in Palestine, after 10 months of openings and closures of businesses due to the pandemic, and with a number of daily contagions that “remains quite significant”. Because “on a population in the West Bank that counts 2.8-3 million people, there are still more than 500 positive cases per day and the health system is suffering”. In fact, the pandemic has hit “an already fragile economy, dependent on public development aid and remittances”, and the restrictions imposed by the authorities to contain its spread “have brought the tourism and hospitality sector in Bethlehem to its knees”. Also because, explained Bisceglia to askanews, “here social shock absorbers do not exist, those who can go on with savings or loans, and even the largest institutions have reduced their salaries, implementing a policy of solidarity wages, but many have lost their jobs. “We must hold on,” admitted the representative of Vis, also hoping that the “vaccination campaign that is going fast” in Israel, “can somehow start in the West Bank.
by Basit Abbasi – CCTV