Gaza Faces Widespread Hunger as Food Systems Collapse – World Food Program

Gaza reel under new massacres carried out by the Israeli army. (Photo: via QNN)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) has issued a dire warning that nearly the entire population of the Gaza Strip faces the immediate possibility of starvation.

Cindy McCain, WFP Executive Director, said in a statement on Thursday that supplies of food and water are practically non-existent in Gaza and only a fraction, about 10 percent, of what is needed is arriving through the borders.

“With winter fast approaching, unsafe and overcrowded shelters, and the lack of clean water, civilians are facing the immediate possibility of starvation,” McCain said.

“There is no way to meet current hunger needs with one operational border crossing. The only hope is opening another, safe passage for humanitarian access to bring life-saving food into Gaza.”

Earlier this week, WFP confirmed the closure of the final bakery operating in partnership with the agency due to lack of fuel.

It said fuel shortages have triggered a crippling halt in bread production across all 130 bakeries in Gaza.

Bread, a staple food for people in Gaza, is scarce or non-existent.

The shortage of fuel is also crippling humanitarian distribution and operations, including the delivery of food assistance.

Even as trucks arrived from Egypt and offloaded supplies in Gaza on Tuesday, the WFP said they were unable to reach civilians in shelters because of insufficient fuel for distribution vehicles.

The UN agency said local markets have shut down completely.

The small quantities of food that can be found are being sold at alarmingly inflated prices and are of little use without the ability to cook, forcing some to survive on one meal a day.

“For the lucky, that includes more than solely canned food, though some people have resorted to consuming raw onions and uncooked eggplants”, the agency said.

“The collapse of food supply chains is a catastrophic turning point in an already dire situation, where people have been stripped of basic necessities”, said Samer Abdeljaber, Representative and Country Director in Palestine.

“Without access to fuel, our ability to provide bread or transport food to those in need has been severely compromised, essentially bringing life in Gaza to a standstill. People are going hungry.”

Since last month, WFP has provided emergency food assistance to over 700,000 displaced people in Gaza and plans to scale up food assistance to reach over one million people in the next few weeks.

However, the agency said this can only happen with increased, sustained supply corridors into Gaza, the ability to rotate staff in and out with safe humanitarian access, and additional support from donors.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
Our Vision For Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out