Gaza, Oct 27 (IANS): About 96 per cent of Gazans have been plunged into poverty due to the raging conflict between Israel and Hamas, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) said.
This is compared to Gaza's 45-per cent poverty rate in 2017-2018, Xinhua news agency quoted the ESCWA as saying in a statement.
"Even if a ceasfire is agreed and humanitarian aid is allowed to enter Gaza, poverty and deprivation will affect a significant share of the population for years to come," ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti was quoted by the release as saying.
The international community now has a compelling responsibility to ensure the flow of sufficient amounts of critical humanitarian aid to Gaza, she noted.
The UN official also called for the design and enactment of a recovery and sustainable development plan for Gaza beyond the immediate humanitarian needs, in line with a peace process that addresses the root causes of the recurring conflicts.
Israel and Hamas have engaged in a bloody conflict in Gaza since October 7, when the militant group launched a surprise attack on Israeli military targets and towns, prompting massive Israeli strikes on Gaza.
The violence has so far killed around 7,028 Palestinians in Gaza and at least 1,400 people in Israel, according to official figures.