Saturday, May 25, 2024

WFP warns half of Gaza’s population ‘starving’, food relief a ‘drop in the ocean’ of need

The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) has warned half of Gaza’s population – estimated to be some 2.3 million people – are starving as Israel keeps pounding the encircled enclave.

While WFP is providing food assistance to more than 1 million people in Gaza each month, the need was so acute that such efforts amount to “a drop in the ocean of needs”, the agency said in a post on social media.

The UN’s food relief agency also added a humanitarian ceasefire was needed immediately.

Israel has consistently denied aid convoys to northern Gaza, according to the UN’s agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA).

It has called the reopening four bakeries in northern Gaza thanks to “critical” World Food Programme support a “drop in the ocean”.

In a post on X, UNRWA said Israeli authorities continue to prevent its food convoys from reaching the north of the besieged and bombarded territory.

“We need safe & unimpeded access. Food supplies are a matter of life & death,” it added.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Palestinian territory since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Hamas which killed nearly 1,200 people.

Nearly 34,200 Palestinians have since been killed and more than 77,000 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in January issued an interim ruling that ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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