At least one fourth of Gazans are facing famine as food scarcity is weaponized against the innocent

As Israel allegedly seeks retribution in Gaza, the innocent ones are forced to suffer through multiple stages of war, grief, hunger and disease. According to a new report from the United Nations, (UN) at least one fourth of Gazans are “one step away” from famine and full-blown starvation. Food scarcity is being weaponized against the innocent, and the international community cannot keep up with the humanitarian needs in Gaza because they are being blockaded and attacked.

Most Gazans need food aid now, as their agricultural operations are annihilated

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), most of the population in Gaza is in desperate need of food aid. The Israeli military has barred the delivery of essential goods into Gaza. Israel’s restrictions have shuttered agriculture and food production across Gaza.

The Director of the OCHA coordination division, Ramesh Rajasingham, addressed the UN Security Council about the bleak situation in Gaza. “At least 576,000 people in Gaza – one-quarter of the population – are one step away from famine; with 1 in 6 children under 2 years of age in northern Gaza suffering from acute malnutrition and wasting,” Rajasingham warned.

“Practically the entire population of Gaza is left to rely on woefully inadequate humanitarian food assistance to survive. Unfortunately, as grim as the picture we see today, there is every possibility for further deterioration,” Rajasingham added.

According to the analysis, if the conditions in Gaza continue until May 2024, the country will be headed toward a total collapse, with agricultural systems decimated and food supplies vanquished. Evacuation orders have left farmland vacant. The displacement of people and the burning of resources has shuttered processing plants and factories. Israel’s military campaign has rendered much of Gaza’s productive assets inaccessible. In fact, the five mills in Gaza have been shuttered since November. Electricity, fuel and water shortages have shut down food production at almost all the major plants.

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Gazan children now suffering from malnutrition and disease

The shortages have driven infants and children into a state of serious malnutrition that leads to disease. A journalist named Hossam Shabat reported the death of multiple infants in intensive care units because of malnutrition. The Israeli military blockade on Northern Gaza is having harsh repercussions that affect the lives of tens of thousands of innocent children. How many innocent people must suffer for Israel’s reprisal? Lack of food reverberates many more issues, including disease.

“Hunger and the risk of famine are exacerbated by factors that go beyond just the availability of food,” OCHA officials warned. “Inadequate water, sanitation, and health services create a cycle of vulnerability, where malnourished people … become more susceptible to disease that further depletes the body’s nutritional reserves.”

Approximately 1.7 million Gazans live in an area that is aided by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. That’s about three fourths of Gaza’s population, and they are all at risk of starvation because the international community cannot keep up with food donations and providing shelters for those who have lost everything.

Jordan’s military has stepped in and has begun airdropping much needed supplies and food. The World Food Program has stepped in, too, warning that Gaza has “the worst level of child malnutrition anywhere in the world.” The World Food Program sought to resume food deliveries in Gaza on February 18, after being blockaded for three weeks. Their plan was to send ten trucks of food into Gaza every day to help stave the hunger, but their food deliveries were shut down again, with gunfire and looting halting their humanitarian effort.

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According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, there have been more than 70,000 injuries since the war began, and nearly 30,000 people have lost their lives. “We fear widespread famine in Gaza is almost inevitable,” the Ministry stated in an urgent message to the UN Council.

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