Blinken emphasized to Israel’s Gallant the need for post-war Gaza plan

LONDON: More than 495,000 Gazans, one-fifth of the enclave’s population, now face catastrophic levels of acute food insecurity, characterized by extreme food shortages, hunger and exhaustion, according to a forthcoming United Nations report.

According to The Guardian, Gaza’s latest “Special Picture” from the Integrated Food Security Phase classification will be published on Tuesday.

The UN report will also reveal that more than half of Gaza households have had to sell or exchange clothes to buy food, as the risk of famine across the territory remains high as a result of recent violence.

Israeli authorities have tight control over entry to Gaza, and movement requires military permission. Debris has destroyed roads, fuel is scarce, and power and communication networks are barely functional.

At the beginning of the war, Israel imposed a total siege on Gaza, which was gradually eased under pressure from the United States. The war has significantly reduced Gaza’s ability to produce its own food.

The IPC noted that food supplies and nutrition services to northern Gaza increased significantly in March and April, preventing famine and improving conditions in the south of the territory. However, according to a draft report obtained by The Guardian, the situation has deteriorated again as a result of renewed hostilities, and the risk of famine in Gaza remains as long as the conflict continues and humanitarian access remains limited.

According to The Guardian, more than half of households report frequent food shortages at home, and more than 20 percent go days and nights without eating. The latest trajectory is negative and highly unstable. If this trend continues, the improvement seen in April could quickly be reversed.

UN agencies and aid organizations report difficulties reaching the Kerem Shalom border crossing due to ongoing fighting, Israeli restrictions, coordination problems with the army and a breakdown of law and order.

Although the IPC has not officially declared a famine – which requires stringent conditions – the situation in Gaza is dire. Stage 5 famine, which affects 22 percent of Gaza’s population, is comparable to famine conditions.

A formal declaration of famine requires that 20 percent of households have extreme food insecurity, 30 percent of children have acute malnutrition, and at least two adults or four children per 10,000 people die every day.

Volker Turk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has said that Israeli restrictions on humanitarian aid to Gaza may constitute the war crime of willful starvation. The World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization have warned that more than a million people could die or go hungry by mid-July.

A joint statement by Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, and European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said: “The crisis in Gaza has reached another crisis point… It has become almost impossible to deliver any significant humanitarian aid inside Gaza, and the entire fabric of civil society is crumbling.” “.

Ahead of the release of the IPC report on the Gaza Strip, Kate Phillips-Barrasso, vice president of global policy and advocacy at Mercy Corps, said: “People endure inhumane conditions, resorting to desperate measures such as cooking weeds, eating animal feed and replacing their clothes for money to stave off hunger and keep children alive.

“The humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating and the specter of famine continues to loom over Gaza… Humanitarian aid is limited… The international community must maintain sustained pressure to achieve a ceasefire now and ensure continued humanitarian access. The population can no longer endure these hardships.”

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