The UN warns that the risk of famine persists in Gaza, with half a million Palestinians on the brink

The UN warns that the risk of famine persists in Gaza, with half a million Palestinians on the brink
The UN warns that the risk of famine persists in Gaza, with half a million Palestinians on the brink

The risk of declaring famine in the Gaza Strip remains “plausible” and, although the situation in the northern part of this enclave has improved slightly with the arrival of some humanitarian aid, UN agencies have warned that near of half a million Palestinians survive in levels of food insecurity equivalent to ‘catastrophe’. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), which includes around twenty institutions and organizations, concludes that 495,000 people, 22 percent of the Gazan population, suffer from extreme hunger, while another 745,000 would be at level four on a scale of five in terms of food insecurity. “There is a high risk of famine as long as the conflict continues and humanitarian access remains restricted,” says the report released this Tuesday and which projects a similar scenario for the coming months. If current conditions persist, 96 percent of the Gazan population will remain at least in level three. The UN raised the alarm this year about the lack of food in the northern part of the Strip, but now admits that, “with some blockades”, the inhabitants of this area have received some help and “this seems to have temporarily alleviated the conditions”. “In this context, the available evidence does not indicate that famine exists,” the experts point out. On the other hand, in the southern part, “the situation has deteriorated” since early May, when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) began a large-scale offensive in the city of Rafah, where more than a million people gathered. displaced Palestinians who had previously fled other areas of Gaza. The persistence of fighting and the succession of displacements has meant that more than half of the families have had to sell clothes and a third have been forced to collect garbage, also with a view to obtaining some type of economic income. More than 20 percent of households admit that they go entire days without eating food. DECLARATION OF FAMINE The UN establishes a series of statistical criteria to formally declare the situation of famine, although it has been warning for months that, when it takes this step, it is because there are already people who have died due to lack of food, precisely in line with the constant worsening situation in the Gaza Strip. In fact, in addition to verifying that 20 percent of households suffer from extreme deprivation and that 30 percent of children suffer from acute malnutrition, these criteria include the death of two adults or four children per 10,000 inhabitants per day.

 
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