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Calls to action for Gaza 'have been predominantly going to deaf ears': WFP

May 31, 2024 at 8:42 pm

A view of the destruction in the area revealed following the withdrawal of the Israeli army following the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Jabalia area in the northern Gaza Strip, where ground attacks continued for nearly three weeks on May 31, 2024 [Dawoud Abo Alkas – Anadolu Agency]

The UN World Food Program (WFP) Country Director in Palestine, Matthew Hollingworth, on Friday emphasised the urgent need for a ceasefire, saying that their calls for action in Gaza are not being heeded, Anadolu Agency reports.

Speaking in a virtual news conference, Hollingworth said: “Calls to action (for Gaza) have predominantly been going to deaf ears. But fundamentally what we need, of course, is an immediate ceasefire.”

Saying that the “exodus we have seen in the past 20 days or so out of Rafah has been a horrific experience for many people”, Hollingworth noted that there is a severe shortage of water, medical supplies, fuel and food in places people have fled to.

Hollingworth said that the public health situation in these areas is

… beyond crisis level. The everyday life is terrific and apocalyptic. People sleep to the sounds of bombing, they sleep to the sounds of drones, they sleep to the sounds of war

On claims of Hamas looting UN aid, Hollingworth said

We have not seen Hamas or the de-facto authority taking assistance from the World Food Program or other UN organisations

Responding to Anadolu’s question on the non-functionality of US’s floating dock in Gaza, Hollingworth recalled that the UN had voiced numerous concerns even before the floating dock became operational, and during its operational period, they managed to distribute less than a thousand tons of aid .

Saying that although the aid was minimal, Hollingworth said it was life-saving, and coordination with Israeli officials improved during the floating dock’s operational period.

He emphasised that the floating dock could be “worth the investment” if it could supplement the physical delivery from land corridors.

Hollingworth mentioned that the World Food Program alone delivered 20,000 tons of aid in April and that approximately 45,000 tons of aid is needed monthly in Gaza.

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