IMF’S – Lagarde says West Bank, Gaza growth must be focused on jobs

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Growth in the West bank and Gaza must be focused on jobs, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday, at the start of a conference on the Trump administration’s $50 billion economic plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Business leaders and politicians have gathered in Bahrain to discuss the plan that Washington says is vital to ending the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But Palestinian leaders have dismissed it as pointless without a political solution.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde told the opening session that any growth in the Palestinian territories must be “job intensive”.

The IMF expects the Palestinian economy to contract by 1.6% this year and says unemployment stands at 30% in the West Bank and 50% in Gaza.

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