Monday, June 17, 2024

Almost half of Gaza population ‘expected to face death, starvation’ by mid-July: UN

More than one million people in Gaza, almost half of its population, are “expected to face death and starvation by mid-July”, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) warned on Wednesday.

In a report called Hunger Hotspots Report: famine looms in Gaza while the risk of starvation persists in Sudan, Haiti, Mali, and South Sudan, the FAO pointed out the dangers that the Israeli-Palestinian crisis has brought.

“The ongoing conflict in Palestine is expected to further aggravate already catastrophic levels of acute hunger, with starvation and death already taking place, alongside the unprecedented death toll, widespread destruction and displacement of nearly the total population of the Gaza Strip – the report warns,” the FAO said.

“In mid-March 2024, famine was projected to occur by the end of May in the two northern governorates of the Gaza Strip, unless hostilities ended, full access was granted to humanitarian agencies, and essential services were restored,” it noted.

The agency warned: “Over one million people – half the population of Gaza – are expected to face death and starvation (IPC Phase 5) by mid-July.”

The report also cautions about the wider regional consequences of the crisis, which could worsen the existing food security challenges in Lebanon and Syria.

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7 Hamas attack despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

More than 36,500 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, the vast majority being women and children, and nearly 83,000 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Nearly eight months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

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