3,000 malnourished children in Gaza at risk of ‘dying before their families’ eyes’: UNICEF

Almost 3,000 children have been cut off from treatment for moderate and severe acute malnutrition in southern Gaza, putting them at risk of death as harrowing violence and displacement continue to impact access to healthcare facilities and services for desperate families, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned in a statement.

This number, based on reporting from UNICEF’s nutrition partners, equates to approximately three-quarters of the 3,800 children who were estimated to be receiving life-saving care in the south ahead of the escalating conflict in Rafah.

“Horrific images continue to emerge from Gaza of children dying before their families’ eyes due to the continued lack of food, nutrition supplies, and the destruction of healthcare services,” said UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Adele Khodr.

“UNICEF has more nutrition supplies prepositioned to arrive in the Gaza Strip, if access allows,” she added.

The Palestinian Ministry of Education has recently reported more than 15,000 Palestinian children have been killed since October 2023, when Israel launched its genocidal war against the Gaza Strip.

In early June, the UNICEF warned of severe child food poverty amid world crises, including in Gaza.

“Five rounds of data collected between December 2023 and April 2024 have consistently found that 9 out of 10 children in the Gaza Strip are experiencing severe food poverty, surviving on two or fewer food groups per day,” UNICEF said in a report.

It noted months of hostilities and restrictions on humanitarian aid have collapsed food and health systems, resulting in “catastrophic consequences” for children and their families in Gaza.

“This is evidence of the horrific impact the conflict and restrictions are having on families’ ability to meet children’s food needs – and the speed at which it places children at risk of life-threatening malnutrition,” it added.

Israel is deliberately blocking and delaying the flow of food and basic supplies into Gaza and using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare.

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