Friday, May 24, 2024

Half of Gaza’s population ‘starving’, food relief a ‘drop in the ocean’ of need: WFP

The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) has said half of Gaza’s population – estimated to be some 2.3 million people – are starving.

While WFP is providing food assistance to more than 1 million people in Gaza each month, the need was so acute that such efforts amount to “a drop in the ocean of needs”, the agency said in a post on social media.

The UN’s food relief agency also said a humanitarian ceasefire was needed immediately.

At least 34,183 Palestinians have been killed and 77,143 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza as Israel’s war on the besieged Palestinian coastal enclave surpassed 200 days.

Nearly 85 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been displaced and more than 14,500 children killed in the atttack, which critics have dubbed a war of vengeance.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Tlaleng Mofokeng, said that Israel and its allies are deliberately perpetuating famine and humanitarian crises in war-torn Gaza.

In a recent statement to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, Mofokeng condemned Israel for what she termed as “knowingly and intentionally imposing famine” on Gaza.

“Not only is Israel killing and causing irreparable harm against Palestinian civilians with its bombardments, it and their allies are also knowingly and intentionally imposing famine, prolonged malnutrition, and dehydration,” Mofokeng said.

She highlighted the dire situation in Gaza, where the medical evacuation rate stands at a mere 47% due to the destruction of civilian infrastructure, making it difficult to gather accurate data on the number of people in need of medical assistance.

Mofokeng emphasized the lack of “systemic, structured, focused, and deliberate intent” to protect people’s rights to health in Gaza.

She added that Gaza should not have to rely on evacuations for medical support.

“The point is Gaza should not be evacuating people for support, right? These facilities and the health services should be able to adequately respond to their needs, where they live, and where they reside,” the UN Rapporteur added.

She described the unfolding crisis in Gaza as a “genocide,” accusing Israel and its allies of causing irreparable harm to Palestinian civilians through bombardments and deliberate actions aimed at causing famine.

In Gaza, particularly in the northern regions, the humanitarian situation has reached critical levels as aid remains insufficient to meet the needs of the population.

Malnutrition has gripped many communities, with residents struggling to secure even one meal per day.

Aid groups and workers are facing significant challenges as many have expressed reluctance to operate in Gaza following Israeli airstrikes on an aid convoy, killing seven aid workers.

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