‘Man-made’ Gaza famine can still be avoided: UN agency

More than four months into the Israel-Hamas conflict, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees stated on Sunday that famine in the Gaza Strip may be avoided if essential supplies is permitted into the beleaguered area.

“This is a man-made disaster,” UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, of the dire humanitarian conditions in war-battered Gaza.
“The world committed to never let famine happen again,” he said.
“Famine can still be avoided through genuine political will to grant access and protection to meaningful assistance.”

Concern for the common Gazans caught up in Israel’s military operation against Hamas, which has controlled the coastal region since 2007, has grown among aid organizations.

The World Food Programme last week called “unprecedented levels of desperation” in Gaza, and the UN has warned of an impending famine that threatens almost everyone there. Under criticism from Israel, which asserted that UNRWA personnel participated in the war-starting October 7 attack by Hamas, Lazzarini stated that the organization’s last successful food aid delivery to northern Gaza occurred on January 23, more than a month ago.

In addition to the “extremely critical” situation in the north of Gaza, the UN humanitarian organization OCHA expressed growing alarm over the conditions in the south.

Authorities in the region controlled by Hamas reported that several child deaths due to starvation have occurred recently.

According to the health ministry, 29,692 persons have died as a result of Israel’s military incursion, the majority of them being women and children.

Approximately 1,160 people, largely civilians, were killed as a result of Hamas’s attack on Israeli towns, military installations, rural areas, and other locations close to the Gaza border, according to an AFP count based on official numbers.

According to AFP, Gazans have been forced to eat animal feed that is unfit for human consumption and moldy grain, but even those supplies are running low.

Through the Israeli-controlled borders at Kerem Shalom and Nitzana, aid vehicles enter Gaza from Egypt after being inspected.

The Israeli Defense Ministry’s COGAT, which oversees civilian activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, announced on Saturday that four cooking gas tankers had arrived in Gaza.

The Israeli agency reported on Sunday that 245 vehicles transporting relief supplies had been vetted and moved to Gaza.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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