The Gaza Strip, ravaged by wars and nearly a decade of a gruelling Israeli blockade, could become uninhabitable for residents within just five years, the United Nations development agency said Tuesday.

“The social, health and security-related ramifications of the high population density and overcrowding are among the factors that may render Gaza unliveable by 2020,” the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) wrote in its annual report.

Gaza, a tiny enclave of just 362 square kilometres (about 225 square miles) squeezed between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea, that is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians, counts one of the highest population densities in the world.

“Gaza could become uninhabitable by 2020 if current economic trends persist,” the report said.

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