Israeli strike kills dozens in Nuseirat, Gaza hospital in crisis

United Nations agencies warned on Wednesday that over one million Palestinians in Gaza could experience the highest level of starvation by the middle of next month if hostilities continue.

The World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization said in a joint report that hunger is worsening because of heavy restrictions on humanitarian access and the collapse of the local food system in the nearly eight-month Gaza war.

It says the situation remains dire in northern Gaza, which has been surrounded and largely isolated by Israeli troops for months.

Israel recently opened land crossings in the north but they are only able to facilitate truck loads in the dozens each day for hundreds of thousands of people.

Israel’s incursion into Rafah has meanwhile severely disrupted aid operations in the south.

The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, the world authority on determining the extent of hunger crises, said in March that around 677,000 people in Gaza were experiencing Phase 5 hunger, the highest level and the equivalent of famine.

The two UN agencies said in their report Wednesday that that figure could climb to more than one million – or nearly half of Gaza’s total population of 2.3 million – by the middle of next month.

“In the absence of a cessation of hostilities and increased access, the impact on mortality and the lives of the Palestinians now, and in future generations, will increase markedly with every day, even if famine is avoided in the near term,” it said.

On Tuesday, a separate group of experts said it’s possible that famine is underway in northern Gaza but that the war, and restrictions on humanitarian access, have impeded the data collection to prove it.

“It is possible, if not likely,” the group known as the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, or FEWS NET, which is funded by the US Agency for International Development, said about famine in Gaza.

Last month, the head of the World Food Programme, Cindy McCain, said northern Gaza had already entered “full-blown famine”, but experts at the UN agency later said she was expressing a personal opinion.

An area is considered to be in famine when three things occur: 20 percent of households have an extreme lack of food, or are essentially starving; at least 30 percent of the children suffer from acute malnutrition or wasting, meaning they’re too thin for their height; and two adults or four children per every 10,000 people are dying daily of hunger and its complications.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *