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Children dying of hunger, Report on war ridden Gaza


New York, 7 March 2024 (TDI): Hunger in war ridden Gaza has grown rapidly in the aftermath of the Israeli invasion that took place in October. “Children are dying from hunger” reports Jamie McGoldrick, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

According to reports 20 children have died from starvation in the blocked and bombarded enclave. This number also includes a 14 day old baby. McGoldrick, reports that in order to address the crisis, there was an urgent need to use military access road to northern Gaza for at least 300 aid trucks per day.

Violence against Women

During McGoldrick’s visit to the Misq and Layan camp in Al Mawasi in southern Gaza, displaced women reflected on the impact of the war and the massive requirement of privacy, security, hygiene and the incapability to prepare for Ramadan.

Women in community driven camps experience sexual harassment when on their way to the toilets that are not separate for men and women. They also don’t have access to clean water, along with experiencing gender based violence.

One woman’s story notes that after she had given birth, she was forced to move to the camp later with her other offsprings, one of whom had disabilities. The UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator reports that other women concurred to the fact that the woman was not able to breastfeed her child because of a lack of food.

According to McGoldrick, walking through the camps, women can be heard crying.

Threat of famine

Jamie McGoldrick reports that the people of Gaza have been displaced multiple times. They fear that in the event of a ground invasion of Rafah by Israel, there is “no system in place to safely evacuate” people who are already looking for shelter in the south.

Moreover, people want to resume normalcy in their lives. They are hopeful of a pause so that they can balance and secure people’s health and food security.

The intensive food crisis in the enclave, which according to UN aid coordination office OCHA had “left one in four facing catastrophic levels of food insecurity”, required renewed international alarm, when over a 100 Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured after they were trying to get aid from a relief convoy in the Gaza city.

Around 576,000 are experiencing “catastrophic levels of deprivation and starvation” throughout the enclave, according to deputy chief of the UN humanitarian agency, OCHA.

Moreover, Tunisia Permanent Representative Tarek Ladeb on behalf of the Arab Group reports that, the threat of a famine in Gaza is evident because of the incapability of the international community to agree on an immediate ceasefire and the resistance on the side of Irael, which is the occupying power.

Also Read: Pakistan dispatches 4th consignment of relief goods for Gaza

Delivery of aids

According to McGoldrick, even though naval aid deliveries and airdrops in war ridden Gaza, are of assistance, road transport remains the most efficient way to ensure that aid is delivered to those in need.

Airdrops contain supplements for children along with ready to eat precooked meals, whereas trucks deliver flour and food parcels from UNRWA and WFP. One truck is able to deliver 20 to 30 metric tonnes of aid, which is 10 times the amount of a single aircraft delivering aid through an air drop.

“What’s needed now is a predictable supply of essentials into Gaza”, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory reports. This potential would include increased open routes, security for humanitarian workers and access to the people in need.

Working alongside the Israeli authorities, there have been attempts put in by the UN try to deliver much needed items such as insulin for children who are need of it, in the enclave.

Furthermore, efforts also comprise of “advocating for safely using an access road into the north” in war ridden Gaza, according to McGoldrick.

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