Disasters & Accidents

Half of Gaza starving and 9 out of 10 residents do not eat every day, UN says

United Nations, Dec 14 (EFE).- The situation in the Gaza Strip is “increasingly desperate and chaotic,” warned the deputy executive director of the United Nations World Food Program, Carl Skau, on Thursday.

“When it comes to the food security situation, we managed to do a survey during the seven-day pause, and what we found there was that half of the population are starving. And the grim reality is also that nine out of ten people are not eating enough, are not eating every day and don’t know where their next meal is going to come from,” Skau told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.

Skau visited the Palestinian enclave over the weekend to get a first-hand look at the situation on the ground, and described a bleak picture for the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the Israeli offensive.

“The only good news I have for you today is that during the seven-day pause we were able to deliver,” the Swedish diplomat said, reiterating his call for a ceasefire in the enclave and saying that, at the very least, new border crossings should be made operational in addition to the Rafah crossing (the only one not controlled by Israel).

Skau also said that UN shelters in the south of the enclave are already overflowing, with many people setting up tents around them, while others are fleeing with all their belongings on the roof of their vehicle, not knowing where to go.

The situation is equally desperate for WFP staff, many of whom have had to leave their homes and flee several times since the war began and are now living in shelters, trying to distribute what little aid they receive while their children wonder if they will return alive.

Skau said that during the seven-day humanitarian ceasefire the enclave experienced in late November, the agency managed to deliver wheat, oil, tuna, beans and other food to some 250,000 people.

“While I’m relatively new to this field, I’ve been working in this field for 25 years, those with us who have been working 40 or 50 years say that they have never seen anything like it. It is unprecedented in it’s scale and its complexity but also at the pace in which events are developing,” he told reporters. EFE

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