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WFP warns of ‘looming humanitarian catastrophe’ in Gaza

December 6, 2023 at 3:00 pm

Palestinians queue for food as Palestinian volunteers prepare meals for families in Rafah, Gaza on November 29, 2023 [Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu Agency]

The United Nations World Food Program has warned of a “looming humanitarian catastrophe” in the Gaza Strip, stressing that lasting peace is the only way to prevent it.

The Rome-based programme said in a statement yesterday that the “resumption of hostilities in Gaza will only intensify the catastrophic hunger crisis that already threatens to overwhelm the civilian population.”

“The seven-day pause in fighting allowed the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and our partners some safety to scale up relief operations. In that time, we were able to double the number of distribution points outside shelters and deliver food in places that had been impossible to reach, including in some northern areas. WFP reached approximately 250,000 people in just one week,” it said.

The WFP stated that the situation “is a disaster for the civilian population of Gaza, more than 2 million people, whose only lifeline is food assistance.”

“Only a lasting peace can end the suffering and avert the looming humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. WFP calls for a humanitarian ceasefire and urges all leaders to work with the utmost urgency to find political solutions that can end the suffering of families on all sides of this harrowing conflict,” added the statement.

Since 7 October, the Israeli army has been waging a devastating aggression on the Gaza Strip, which by yesterday evening had left 16,248 dead, including 7,112 children and 4,885 women, in addition to 43,616 wounded. It also caused massive destruction of the infrastructure and an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe, according to official Palestinian and UN sources.

READ: UK government urged to act to end humanitarian crisis in Gaza