Gaza: Children are starving amid persistent aid access obstacles, warn UN agencies

Warning from the World Health Organization (WHO) led to the finding that more than 4 in 5 children “not eating all day at least once in three days” before a survey on food insecurity.

Snapshot of hunger

“These are children under 5 years old who haven’t eaten all day,” said WHO spokeswoman Dr. Margaret Harris. “So you ask, ‘Is the supply coming through?’ No, children are hungry.”

Other worrying data from the rapid survey on food insecurity indicates that most adolescents surveyed in Gaza now eat only two different food groups each day, when recommended by WHO at least five.

According to one Update this week from the United Nations aid coordination office, OCHA, since mid-January, more than 93,400 children under 5 years old have been screened for malnutrition in Gaza; 7,280 people were found to have acute malnutrition, including 5,604 people with moderate acute malnutrition and 1,676 people with severe acute malnutrition.

These horrors are preventable

Reiterating those concerns, OCHA highlights the risk of deadly malnutrition and starvation among Gaza’s most vulnerable people.

“I will tell they certainly aren’t getting the money they desperately need to prevent famine, to stop all the horrors we see. OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said little is happening at the moment.

Responding to questions about obstacles to aid access, he reiterated that the Israeli authorities’ obligation under international humanitarian law to facilitate the delivery of aid “does not stop at border. It doesn’t stop when you drop just a few meters across the border and drive away, leaving it for the humanitarians driving through war zones – which they can’t do – to pick up. So to answer your question, no, the aid that is going to the people is not going to come.”

Amid continued reports of deadly Israeli bombing across Gaza on Friday, humanitarians continued to insist that land routes for aid convoys remained. “The only way to get (aid) at scale and at speed…We need more of these roads and we need them open and we need them safe,” said an OCHA spokesperson. to be used to receive aid when it is dropped.” .

Floating berth setback

When asked about a floating dock built by the US military anchored off the Gaza coast that was said to have been partially damaged at sea, Mr. Laerke noted that “Any and all ways to get aid are welcome, so when that practice doesn’t work, it’s of course bad news… It has never been is fact. It can be a complement, and we continue to emphasize that.”

As part of ongoing efforts to prevent life-threatening famine in Gaza, WHO reported Together with partners and local health authorities, the organization continues to provide consistent services to children with the most life-threatening malnutrition.

So far, 68 children have been treated, but due to the recent escalation of conflict, the nutrition stabilization center at Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza has been shut down.

As of May 1, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and partners report that they have reached approximately 60,000 children under 5 and 22,820 pregnant and breastfeeding women with a 15-day nutritional supplement to help prevent malnutrition .


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