Access Denied – UNRWA Cannot Deliver Food to Northern Gaza

Aid cannot reach northern Gaza. (Photo: via UNRWA)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Half of UNRWA’s aid mission requests to northern Gaza have been denied this year, according to the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees.  

“The last time UNRWA was allowed to deliver food north or Wadi Gaza was on 23 January,” Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General said in a statement on X, on Thursday. 

“Since the beginning of the year, half of our aid mission requests to the north were denied,” he added. 

The UN, Lazzarini stated, has identified deep pockets of starvation and hunger in northern Gaza where people are believed to be on the verge of famine.

“At least 300,000 people living in the area depend on our assistance for their survival,” the UN chief emphasized.

Preventing access prevents life-saving humanitarian aid, he continued. “With the necessary political will, this can be easily reversed.”

Grinding Animal Fodder to Eat

Earlier, UNRWA also posted on X that “Our colleagues in north Gaza report ‘there is nothing to eat. Animal fodder is ground up and cooked to eat’.”

A video circulating on social media has shown people in a mill in northern Gaza grinding animal feed to make flour, due to a lack of wheat flour, according to the Anadolu news agency. 

Lazzarini reiterated that UNRWA “is the main lifeline for Palestine Refugees in Gaza and the Middle East.”

“More support is needed to UNRWA not less”, he added. 

Meanwhile, UNRWA also posted an aerial image from northern Gaza of utter devastation, saying the area is “unrecognizable.”

“The situation is catastrophic. There is not a single house that was not damaged,” the post stated. 

“Abdallah, our colleague who took this photo, describes unimaginable destruction. Entire neighborhoods gone without trace. People are tired, there’s nothing to eat”’.

Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip has left 85% of the population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, according to the UN.

Funding Suspended

To add to the devastating humanitarian situation, several Western countries including the US, UK and France, have suspended funding worth $440 million to the URWA after Israel alleged some of its employees were involved in the October 7 operation carried out by the Palestinian Resistance.

UNRWA terminated the contracts of the staff members concerned, and an independent investigation is underway.

The Relief Agency has warned that it would “most likely” be forced to shut down its operations in Gaza as well as across the region by the end of February if funding remains suspended.  

‘We Cannot Deliver Aid Under Fire’ – Israel Bombs UNRWA Relief Truck

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 27,840 Palestinians have been killed, and 67,317 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 8,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all of the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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