The ‘Catastrophic’ situation in Gaza | Newstalk

The ‘catastrophic’ situation in Gaza | Newstalk

Peter Power (UNICEF Ireland) joins Ivan Yates to discuss the ongoing crisis in Gaza.

Some 1.1 million Palestinians in Gaza are now facing ‘catastrophic’ hunger according to a new United Nations-backed report.

The data from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report has warned that famine may occur by the end of May if an immediate cessation of hostilities, and sustained access for the provision of essential supplies and services to the population, does not take place.

Data indicates that the “entire population” of Gaza – some 2.3 million people – are enduring high levels of “acute” food insecurity.

The IPC report noted that virtually all households now skip meals every day in Gaza. Adults have reduced their meals so that children can eat.

“In the northern governorates, in nearly two-thirds of the households, people went entire days and nights without eating at least 10 times in the last 30 days,” the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said.

In these locations one-in-three children under the age of two is acutely malnourished, it added.

UN Secretary General António Guterres said the impending famine is an entirely man-made disaster.

“Palestinians in Gaza are enduring horrifying levels of hunger and suffering”, he said outside the UN Security Council in New York yesterday.

Mr Guterres described the IPC report as an “appalling indictment of conditions on the ground for civilians”.

“This is the highest number of people facing catastrophic hunger ever recorded by the Integrated Food Security Classification system – anywhere, anytime,” he said.

“This is an entirely man-made disaster, and the report makes clear that it can be halted.

“I call on the Israeli authorities to ensure complete and unfettered access for humanitarian goods throughout Gaza and for the international community to fully support our humanitarian efforts.

“We must act now to prevent the unthinkable, the unacceptable and the unjustifiable,” he added.

The European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell blamed Israel for the crisis on Monday, accusing the country of weaponising food to provoke famine.

“In Gaza we are no longer on the brink of famine, we are in a state of famine, affecting thousands of people,” he said at the opening of a conference on humanitarian aid for Gaza in Brussels,” he said.

“Trucks are stopped. People are dying, while the land crossings are artificially closed,” he added.

In a joint statement with the European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič, Mr Borrell said: “Hunger cannot be used as a weapon of war.

“What we are seeing is not a natural hazard but a manmade disaster, and it is our moral duty to stop it.

“While we are exploring all possible means of aid delivery, including airdrops and maritime corridors, these do not replace the most viable and effective solution which is the full and unconditional opening of land access.

“An urgent expansion of existing access points for land deliveries, and the opening of additional access routes, is needed to secure impactful food assistance for the entire population of Gaza, the provision of specialised medical aid to address malnutrition and the implementation of public health measures,” they added.

Aid agencies say they have struggled to get enough aid in because of a burdensome Israeli process to import humanitarian aid, and that the continuing conflict has made distribution in the north of Gaza virtually impossible.

The US and other countries have carried out airdrops in recent days and a sea corridor has just opened up.

However, aid groups have said those efforts are costly and inefficient and are no substitute for Israel opening up more land routes.

According to the Gaza health authority, 31,726 people have now been killed in the Gaza Strip and 73,792 injured since the outbreak of hostilities.

#gaza #famine #newstalk
Credit to : Newstalk

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