Gaza, 26 December 2023(TDI): Recent reports have shed light on the critical humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with one in four Palestinians at risk of severe hunger. Nonetheless, the World Food Program and its collaborators face challenges in addressing this pressing issue.
If food, clean water, health, and sanitation facilities are not reestablished, Gaza risks the possibility of famine, leaving 2.2 million people suffering from severe food insecurity.
Ten weeks of violence have not alleviated tensions, leading to significant constraints on humanitarian access, basic services, and the survival of aid staff members. This underscores the ongoing bloodshed and the urgent need for help in Gaza.
Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Carl Skau, stated to reporters last week at a UN meeting in New York, “Most of our teams on the ground are national staff who are living through this crisis while also making efforts to address it.” They continue to deliver aid even though many of them have relocated three or four times and are living in shelters.”
Furthermore, for the first time since the crisis began in October, two assistance convoys passed into Gaza from Jordan and through Israel’s Kerem Shalom, following close collaboration between the World Food Programme and government officials to improve the supply of aid.
However, it is believed that the arrival of 750 metric tons of life-saving food will open avenues for an improved, sustained assistance route via Jordan.
According to current developments in Gaza, the ongoing crisis has posed significant challenges for volunteers, with combat and bombardment creating major barriers.
Since October, five power outages have restricted activities and access to critical information for assistance delivery, making it very difficult to distribute supplies.
Reports suggest that the World Food Programme and its partners sent food to 799,000 individuals in Gaza in November, but distribution was delayed and irregular due to limited fuel, no electricity, and only one operational border gate across the occupied region.
WHO Provides key supplies to Gaza Hospitals
On December 23, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, informed reporters that the World Food Programme (WHO) and its collaborators visited Gaza and delivered supplies to Al-Shifa Hospital, as well as three other hospitals, using several carriers.
Al-Shifa was once Gaza’s biggest hospital,’ he said. However, continuous combat and a large number of injured people have severely limited its capabilities.
Now, it can only provide the most basic first aid. Additionally, the delivery of 19,200 liters of generator fuel on Saturday will aid in the reestablishment of critical services. However, more will be required.
In addition, the hospital’s oxygen plant was destroyed during the conflict, and it currently accommodates 50,000 displaced individuals in Gaza.
Reportedly, the hospital’s wards are filled with Palestinians seeking protection and shelter, resulting in hunger and the actual possibility of famine. Also, people are suffering under terrible conditions due to the search for food, leading some to steal from delivery trucks.
Also Read: WFP warns of famine and starvation in Gaza
According to the WHO director-general, the joint mission also visited the NGO-run Patient Friends Hospital, providing maternity, trauma, and emergency care.
The hospital conducts 6–8 surgeries every day but requires assistance from experienced heart surgeons, neurosurgeons, and nursing workers, as well as antibiotics and painkillers. Furthermore, Al-Helou Hospital, which deals with maternity cases, is in desperate need of fuel, food, and water.
According to reports, the World Health Organization intends to persist in supporting Al-Shifa and other Gaza medical facilities for life-saving care, emphasizing the urgent need for a sustainable ceasefire.