Friday 17 November 2023 - 21:20

UN Warns of Starvation Crisis in Gaza Amid Israel’s Ongoing Aggression

Story Code : 1096413
UN Warns of Starvation Crisis in Gaza Amid Israel’s Ongoing Aggression
Cindy McCain, the WFP's executive director, highlighted the dire situation, stating, “With winter fast approaching, unsafe and overcrowded shelters, and the lack of clean water, civilians are facing the immediate possibility of starvation.”

The organization reported an acute scarcity of bread and inadequacy in food supply reaching Gaza, emphasizing the urgent need for additional safe passages to deliver essential supplies.

Abeer Etefa, WFP spokesperson for the Middle East and North Africa, raised concerns over escalating cases of dehydration and malnutrition, stressing the critical need for increased food aid crossings.

“With only 10 percent of necessity food supplies and drink in Gaza since the beginning of this conflict, we’re now facing a massive food gap,” Etefa said at a virtual UN news conference.

She noted that 2.2 million residents, the entire population of the Gaza Strip, are now in need of food assistance, urging an increase in the number of trucks that are crossing with food aid.

Etefa said the collapse of the food supply chain is “catastrophic,” adding the situation before the conflict was difficult but now it is “disastrous.”

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) echoed these concerns, citing deliberate hindrances to their humanitarian work in Gaza.

Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General, expressed distress over the forced suspension of crucial agency operations, emphasizing the dire need for fuel to sustain humanitarian efforts.

“We run the risk to have to suspend the entire humanitarian operation,” he said, adding, “I do believe that it is outrageous that humanitarian agencies have been reduced to begging for fuel.”

Lazzarini said the first delivery of fuel since the start of the Israeli war took place on Wednesday after weeks of pleading for access to fuel.

But he noted that that fuel – 24,000 liters of diesel fuel for UN aid distribution trucks – is nowhere near what Gazans need in order to survive.

Lazzarini warned that civilian deaths that are not directly linked to Israel’s strikes were inevitable amid the lack of fuel.

“Today what we are saying is if the fuel does not come in, people will start to die because of the lack of fuel. Exactly as from when, I don’t know. But it will be sooner rather than later,” he said.

Referring to communications blackout due to the lack of fuel, Lazzarini said, “It can provoke or accelerate [the breakdown of] last remaining civil order we have in the Gaza Strip,” calling the scale of loss and destruction in Gaza “just staggering.”

The lack of fuel also endangers hundreds of wounded individuals in the Indonesian Hospital in the north of Gaza.

A severe shortage of fuel, medical equipment, and supplies is turning hospitals into “potential health hazards and, regrettably, graveyards,” the Middle East Monitor reported.

Israel waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas carried out the surprise Al-Aqsa Storm operation against the occupying entity in retaliation for intensified Israeli crimes against Palestinians.

Tel Aviv has also blocked water, food, and electricity to Gaza, plunging the coastal strip into a humanitarian crisis.

The crisis in Gaza has intensified following the conflict's eruption in October, resulting in a devastating toll on civilian lives and infrastructure, aggravated by blockades on essential resources such as water, food, and electricity imposed by Israel.