GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – A new United Nations report is painting a dire picture of the Gaza Strip at the end of the decade.
The tiny Palestinian enclave has been hit hard by years of conflict with neighboring Israel, a blockade restricting the movement of people and goods in and out of the seaside territory, and international isolation under the Islamic fundamentalist Hamas government.
It already suffers from double-digit unemployment, frequent power outages and widespread poverty.
The U.N. report expects things to get worse due to rapid population growth and the poor condition of the territory's already strained infrastructure.
Without stepped up investment in infrastructure and education, and an end to Gaza's isolation, the report predicts "virtually no reliable access" to safe drinking water, lower health and education standards, and insufficient sources of energy.