Friday, June 21, 2024

UN agencies warn humanitarian situation in Gaza ‘Catastrophic’

The humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is "catastrophic", five United Nations agencies have warned, calling for more international help.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 following an operation by Hamas in response to Tel Aviv’s incessant campaign of bloodshed and destruction against Palestinian people. The war has so far claimed the lives of almost 4,400 Palestinians, mostly women, children and the elderly.

“Gaza was a desperate humanitarian situation before the most recent hostilities,” the UN agencies said in a joint statement on Saturday, adding, “It is now catastrophic. The world must do more.”

“More than 1.6 million people in Gaza are in critical need of humanitarian aid,” noted the statement, which was signed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN children’s agency (UNICEF), the World Food Program (WFP), the UN development agency (UNDP), and the world body’s population fund, UNFPA.

“Children, pregnant women, and the elderly remain the most vulnerable. Nearly half of Gaza’s population are children,” the statement added.

The agencies also called for a “humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza along with immediate and unrestricted humanitarian access throughout the territory.

“We call for a humanitarian ceasefire, along with immediate, unrestricted humanitarian access throughout Gaza to allow humanitarian actors to reach civilians in need, save lives, and prevent further human suffering,” the statement said.

“Flows of humanitarian aid must be at scale and sustained, and allow all Gazans to preserve their dignity,” it read.

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