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UNFPA: Half of all people in Gaza at risk of imminent famine

Palestinians gather to receive aid outside an UNRWA warehouse as Gaza residents face crisis levels of hunger, in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, on March 18, 2024. (via Reuters)

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has issued a stern warning about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, saying half of the territory’s inhabitants are at risk of “imminent famine.”

“Half of all people in Gaza are at risk of imminent famine, including an estimated 15,000 pregnant women,” the organization said in a post on X social media platform on Sunday.

Confirming that the famine in Gaza is a man-made phenomenon, the UNFPA said the ongoing crisis “is incomprehensible, and entirely avoidable.”

The UN fund went on to imply that the famine in Gaza is a direct result of Israel’s blocking of the territory’s crossings and cutting access to aid, stressing the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza given the dire needs of the population for humanitarian assistance.

“When the doors to aid are closed, the gates to starvation are opened. They need humanitarian aid and a ceasefire now,” it asserted.

The UNFPA’s warning came after seventy rights organizations issued a joint statement, calling on relevant authorities and global institutions to formally recognize a famine in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The group included Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, the International Lawyers Organization, the International Organization for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Union of Arab Jurists, and the Arab Organization for Human Rights.

“The entire population in the Gaza Strip, including the governorates of Deir al-Balah, Khan Yunis, and Rafah, are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity, with half of them in… the disaster/famine stage,” the statement said.

They called on Israel to act immediately to implement the precautionary measures ordered by the International Court of Justice regarding the opening of the Rafah crossing to provide basic services and much-needed humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza.

Food security levels in Gaza have significantly declined due to the Israeli army’s ground invasion of Rafah, which began on May 7, following which the regime closed all crossings through which aid convoys could enter the blockaded territory.

With the crossings closed and humanitarian aid being prevented from entering, the threat of famine and acute malnutrition has resurfaced and swiftly spread, affecting the 2.3 million people living in the Gaza Strip, half of whom are children.

Israel launched its brutal war on Gaza on October 7 last year after Palestinian resistance groups carried out a historic operation against the usurping regime in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

Since the start of the aggression, the Israeli regime has been committing war crimes in Gaza, killing at least 35,984 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring some 80,643 others.

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