Warnings of a possible famine in Gaza have been issued by the UN World Food Program (WFP), underlining that supplies are starkly inadequate to tackle the hunger levels reported by WFP staff in UN shelters.
“It is highly likely that the population of Gaza, especially women and children are at high risk of famine if WFP is not able to provide continued access to food,” the WFP said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The WFP delivered desperately needed food to more than 120,000 people in Gaza during the initial pause,” the statement read.
📍#Gaza: During the initial pause in fighting, WFP was able to reach over 120,000 people with food, including bread, food parcels, and vouchers.— World Food Programme (@WFP) November 28, 2023
Safe and unimpeded humanitarian access cannot stop now.
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“Thanks to the pause, our teams have been in action on the ground, going into areas we haven’t reached for a long time. What we see is catastrophic,” said Corinne Fleischer, the WFP’s director for the MENA and Eastern Europe Region.
“Six days is simply not enough to provide all the assistance needed. The people of Gaza have to eat every day, not just for six days,” she added.
The Israel-Gaza four-day truce was to end yesterday, but it has now been successfully extended for two more days in agreement to exchange more Israeli hostages from Gaza with Palestinian prisoners from Israel.
Samer Abdeljaber, the WFP representative and country director in Palestine, reports that the program’s teams have seen “hunger, despair, and destruction” among people who have not received any aid for weeks.
He further stated that the humanitarian pause has only provided a momentary relief, “which we hope will pave the way for long-term calm.”
The humanitarian aid must continue, uninterrupted and without any hindrances, he added.