Around 50,000 public sector employees in the Gaza Strip who had not received their June paychecks in nearly three weeks have now started receiving them, according to the Palestinian finance ministry.
According to the Hamas-run ministry of finance, the issue was caused by a delay in a monthly payroll allocation from Qatar, a significant aid contributor to the impoverished Gaza enclave, a decline in tax collection, and an increase in spending.
Salama Marouf, chairman of the Hamas government media office, said the reception of nearly half of the Qatari $5-million monthly payroll grant and a loan from a Gaza local bank facilitated payment of wages on Wednesday, adding that the financial crisis persisted.
Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents live in poverty, and the economy is dependent on foreign aid. Qatar has paid hundreds of millions of dollars since 2014 for construction projects. It currently pays $30 million per month in stipends for families, fuel for electricity, and to help pay public sector wages.
The payroll costs Hamas 125 million shekels ($34.5 million) per month.
Gaza has been under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade since 2007 when Hamas, which opposes peace with Israel, took control. Public sector employees have not received full salaries since 2013.