On the Brink - Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on shock-affected professions and laborers in the Gaza Strip

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This study was conducted during September 2020, with the aim of identifying the needs and requirements of daily wage laborers and their family members from all ages and different abilities in 7 affected professions in the Gaza Strip. This assessment was conducted in order to find solutions to strengthen their resilience and reduce their suffering under the quarantine/lockdown imposed on the entire whole Gaza strip due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, to draw recommendations for interventions relevant and appropriate to the needs of affected boys, girls, women and men from the Coronavirus pandemic.

This study targeted shock-affected sectors and Laborers in seven Professions utilizing data provided to IRPAL through official unions, such as: Kindergarten (KGs) workers, Fishermen, Agricultural farmers,
School microbuses drivers, Industry workers, hairdressers and Restaurants/stall owners/stall workers.
The study findings reflect the reality of these seven Professions, and the social, psychological and economical sufferings and requirements of more than 16,519 female and male day laborers. A combination of semi-structured phone interviews with unions and representative bodies of these sectors and local authorities, in tandem with survey phone interviews conducted on a sample of 2013 persons.

The study has two patterns of results, at two levels; sector and laborers level. At both levels, the study analyses and reflects the reality before and after the pandemic.

At sector level; the study reflects the number of entities and laborers making up the sector, their situation before and after the pandemic, in terms of; affiliation with unions, quality and types of data and information available at unions, operation and production capacity of entities, income of entities, employment status of laborers, income of laborers, immediate and medium/long-term needs and requirements of entities and laborers, and the capacity of unions and associations representing these sectors. The sector analysis demonstrates that the seven sectors’ professions and laborers are suffering from low production capacity and income that slide laborers far under the poverty level. Sector analysis also highlights immediate and medium/long term needs and requirements for unions/associations, entities, laborers.

At laborers level; the study gives signals and figures about the wellbeing and psychological status of the laborers families, where it measures household-related indicators reflecting, the decrease in monthly household income amongst laborers, jobs lost due to quarantine, laborers financial ability to meet their families’ needs, laborers who lost their sources of income, laborers who receive assistances from public and humanitarian institutions during the pandemic, the effects on their wellbeing and psychological status, the effects on their social and family relationships, in addition to their immediate needs and requirements in priority order, which give insights on the types and modalities of immediate support most appropriate to these segments. The laborers analysis have actually confirmed the sectors analysis results of laborers suffering and requirements.

The study includes a section about challenges which includes both positive and negative challenges, in addition to the recommendations section that includes recommended responses, actions and options to contribute to resolve immediate and medium/long-term needs and requirements at both, sector and laborers levels.