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Famine In Gaza Imminent, Warns World Food Programme


The situation in the Gaza Strip is nearing a critical famine threshold, with potential surpassing levels of food insecurity, malnutrition, and mortality within six weeks, according to a World Food Programme official.

Gian Caro Cirri, the Geneva director for the World Food Programme, expressed urgent concern, stating, “We are getting closer by the day to a famine situation.”

A United Nations-backed report released in March already flagged the imminent risk of famine in northern Gaza by May, with the possibility of it spreading throughout the area by July. Recent assessments have echoed these concerns, highlighting the extremely high risk, particularly in northern Gaza.

The recent findings were revealed during the release of a report by the Global Network Against Food Crises, a collaboration of various humanitarian and development agencies including the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union, and the United States. The report paints a grim picture for the Middle East and Africa in 2024, largely due to the ongoing Gaza conflict which has severely restricted humanitarian access and increased the risk of the conflict expanding regionally.

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Cirri pointed out the challenges in delivering aid in Gaza, stating, “The conflict makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to reach affected people.” He emphasised the necessity to “scale up massively our assistance,” though he expressed concerns about the worsening conditions under current circumstances.

For the past six months, following an aerial and ground offensive by Israel against Hamas, the ruling Islamist militant group in Gaza, the United Nations has faced significant challenges in delivering and distributing aid in Gaza. Despite Israel denying allegations of obstructing humanitarian aid and blaming inefficiencies on aid agencies, the humanitarian crisis has intensified.

Cirri stressed the urgency of ensuring immediate and consistent food deliveries to Gaza to avert famine. He described the dire circumstances faced by the residents: selling personal belongings for food, widespread destitution, and increasing hunger-related deaths.

(With Inputs From Reuters)