ACTNews, GAZA – There’s one of many sources of Gaza’s grief: economic decadency. One decade has passed, and no significant development can be observed. Gloomy days passed, and still nothing changes. The blockade still isolates Gaza from all hustle and bustle the rest of the globe experiences.
Recently, UN released an analysis regarding Gaza’s economic condition in the past decade. According to the report, the graphic slides downward. Poverty rate still crawls, and unemployment rate skyrockets higher than UN’s 2012 prediction. Additionally, food crisis was projected to be uncontrollable.
Just look at Gaza’s unemployment rate. In 2011, it was 29% and rose to 42% in 2016. It was projected that in 2020, Gaza’s unemployment rate would be 44,4%. In other words, half of Gaza’s 2 million population will have no means to make a living.
Another data is poverty rate. In 2004, about 30% Gazan lived below poverty line. When Israel enforced blockade in 2004, the number climbed up to 50%. In 2016, the poverty line was 40%.
Meanwhile, Gaza’s food crisis was 44% in 2012. In 2017, the number escalated to 47%, a number which depicts Gazans who could not fulfill the nourishment their bodies need in daily basis. They would sleep at night, not knowing what they would eat for the day.
Days in Gaza darken. However, Gazans are not always heartsick. ACT’s partners in Gaza reported, there was still a spirit to rebuild, a leftover joy, as artificial as it felt.
Try to see the results of Google search. Gazans’ smiles would pop in the screen, either playing in the beach or looking past the ocean, straight to Mediterranean straits.
However, bitter reality still bites. Gazans’ sea territory only covers about 6 nautical miles or 11 kilometres from coastline. Gazan fishermen can only pass that area. Beyond the area is no-go zone, monitored directly by Israeli marine and their arms.
Last year, Qurbani from Indonesia cured their grief
Grieving days were over, at least for a while. Last year, Global Qurban recorded a genuine spark of joy. As the world lit up Eid Adha festivities abroad, Gaza received qurbani meat from Indonesia communities.
They are unforgettable, the photos of Gazan people who received the meat with smile. Gazan children laughed, sincere and with no pretense, as a bag of meat were handed to them.
Last year, Global Qurban reached out to some points in Gaza, starting from Beit Hanoun in the north, Gaza City and Jabalia in the east, to Khan Younis and Rafah in the south.
Each year, returning to Gaza is a commitment that Global Qurban struggles to keep. About 56.572 people or 7.994 families benefitted from Global Qurban in 2016. The number of families who received the aid also climbed up from previous years.
Their reason was simple, because the taste of meat was a luxury that Gaza hardly afforded. Thousands of families in Gaza waited Eid momentum to gather and cook various meat delicacies.
The days were bleak in Gaza, but empathetic and loving people will still remember Gaza. That in 2017, there’s still a land blocked from humanities, caged, ensnared, weakened until Gaza can no longer stand on their own feet.
It’s unfair, that conflict still lurks and splits Gazan from all decent things in life, such as fresh meat. Insha Allah, in 2017, Global Qurban will return to Gaza and the West Bank. Continuing a saga about Eid al-Adha that Indonesians dedicate for Palestine.