Jerusalem – the Holy City - is the most populous, diverse, and multifaceted city in the region. With 936,400 residents by the end of 2019 and growing, the city accounts for 10% of Israel´s total population.
Jerusalem Provides a powerful example of how a lingering political conflict can impact the lives and livelihoods of the people living in the city.
Living under the constant threat of clashes and violence, people of all backgrounds are affected by this decades-long conflict. For many of the inhabitants of East Jerusalem the consequences are poverty and inequality, which in turn, further fuel the conflict.
East Jerusalem has about 580.000 inhabitants. 61% of the population is Arab/Palestinian and 39% is Jewish. While the Jewish residents live in enclosed, modern neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian residents suffer from poor living conditions with housing shortages and limited employment opportunities.
Jerusalem’s Palestinian population is young with a median age of 22. 30% of Palestinian children in East Jerusalem are not enrolled in a regulated study program or institution. 40% of the children do not complete 12 years of education. Of the approximately 340.000 employed persons working in Jerusalem, only 85.000 were Arabs. Only 23% of the women contributed to the workforce. (Jerusalem Institute 2019)
Inequalities create tension. Poverty and the inability to look toward a bright future create further tension and reinforce the conflict. To promote peace, the subject of poverty must be addressed. Investment of effort and resources must be undertaken to break the cycle of poverty and bring hope for the future to the inhabitants in East Jerusalem.