Half of Gaza’s population faces death, starvation by mid-July: UN

By News Desk – The Cradle

A joint report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) released on 5 June states that over one million Palestinians may face fatal levels of starvation by mid-July.

“Between mid-March and mid-July, half of the population of the Gaza Strip (1.1 million people) is expected to face catastrophic conditions and the entire population of the Gaza Strip is expected to face crisis or worse levels of acute food,” the joint FAO-WFP report reads.

The report continued, “According to the [Integrated Food Security Phase Classification] Famine Review Committee, as of March 2024, all evidence pointed towards a major acceleration of starvation-related death and malnutrition.”

The FAO-WFP report states that the movement of humanitarian aid access is constrained both into Gaza and within its territory.

“Humanitarian assistance remains the primary source of essential items since early October, given ongoing heavy restrictions on imports of commercial goods,” the report adds.

The report also states that the consequences of Israel’s aggressions have spread eastward towards the West Bank and the occupied East Jerusalem, where “violent incidents, mobility restrictions and border closures has contributed to a 22 percent year-on-year contraction of GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023.”

Emergency recommendations put forward by the two human rights organizations include the proposal by The Flash Appeal for Palestine, which “requests $2.8 billion for April to December 2024. This funding will aim to address the needs of 2.3 million people in the Gaza Strip and 800,000 people in the West Bank. Approximately $782.1 million is to be allocated for food security interventions.”

These interventions include ensuring the supply of fuel and cooking gas to aid humanitarian efforts and help keep services like mills and bakeries in working condition. They also seek to help restore the agriculture, livestock, and fishing sectors to ensure sustained food production.

Another scheme would be to establish a secure humanitarian corridor to help the access of food items to the Gaza Strip.

A report released by Gaza’s Government media office on Monday stated that thousands of children aged five and under may die as a result of Israel’s systematic use of starvation.

“More than 3,500 children under the age of five are at risk of death in the Gaza Strip due to starvation policies, lack of food, the absence of nutritional supplements, and the prevention of aid by the occupation,” the statement read.

Israel has been actively delaying the entry of needed aid into Gaza, per an Oxfam report, some of these delays last upwards of 20 days.

Humanitarian aid trucks stuck at the Rafah crossing have reported food items rotting on board before reaching the besieged enclave.

Other nations highlighted alongside Palestine in the FAO–WFP report as hotspots with high concern include Mali, Sudan, Haiti, and South Sudan.

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