Raed is a 45-year-old owner of a gas station in the Middle Gaza district staffed with five. He spoke to Al Mezan about his daily financial losses under the lockdown:
“I live in Deir Al Balah where I own and run a gas station with five workers who supported around 40 dependents. On 24 August 2020, the Ministry of Interior imposed a lockdown on the Gaza Strip after discovering the first coronavirus cases in the community. Vehicles were prevented from moving within the districts and refugee camps. We stopped our work and I had to lay-off the workers even though I know how bad their economic conditions are. I had no other option, I have financial commitments, expenditures and rent to pay. I incur daily losses due to the lockdown. The financial return of the station was little in before lockdown, it could barely provide minimum-level income. I’m worried that the lockdown would last longer especially that the number of people infected with the virus is increasing. This will undermine my project and threaten to impoverish my family. I don’t know to whom I should complain. I know the economic conditions in the Gaza Strip were too bad even before the lockdown and that the government’s resources are limited but there should be a plan to save small projects which support the economy. The government should support those who lost their jobs. I hope we overcome this crisis so soon”.