UN warns of looming famine in Gaza after tenth child dies of malnutrition

“This is a very sad threshold, (but) unfortunately we can expect the unofficial numbers to be higher,” said Christian Lindmeier, a spokesman for the U.N. health agency.

Following information from the authorities in the Gaza Strip that a tenth child has died of malnutrition and dehydration, The UN has warned of desperate insecurity and looming famine in the enclave.

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“Official records from yesterday or this morning indicate that there is a tenth child officially registered in a hospital as dying of starvation” said UN health agency spokesperson Christian Lindmeier, who added that “this is a very sad threshold, (but) unfortunately we can expect that the unofficial figures will be higher”.

The event occurred after media reported overnight that four children died at Kamal Adwan hospital, north of Gaza as well as six other young people who died Wednesday in the same center and at Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City, according to a statement shared by the UN.

The worsening food insecurity crisis in the enclave, which the United Nations Office for Aid Coordination (OCHA) says has left one in four people facing catastrophic levels of food insecurity, sparked new international concern this Thursday when more and more 100 Palestinians killed, hundreds injured while trying to reach aid convoy who stopped at a roundabout southwest of Gaza City.

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The rapid condemnation of the incident by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, who also called for an independent investigation, was supported by other senior UN officials, including the UN humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths amid reports of intense and continuous Israeli bombardment from the air, land and sea throughout the territory.

“We saw photographs from Al Shifa (hospital) in which the murder victims were lying next to each other, waiting for treatment.” Lindmeier, of the World Health Organization (WHO), told reporters in Geneva.

“The system in Gaza – we have said repeatedly that it is on its knees – is more than on its knees” ha continued the function of the WHO, explaining that all the “lines of life of Gaza have more than a few cuts”, in particular the water and electricity, immediately después of the terrorist attacks led by Hamas against the Israeli communities on October 7 .

Meanwhile, OCHA spokesperson, Jens Laerke , insisted that before the conflict “people had food; People could produce their own food.

Currently, Finding food in Gaza itself, whether through farming or fishing, ‘is almost impossible’ , Laerke continued, adding that “putting food on the table has completely stopped.” “The very basis of people’s daily livelihoods is being destroyed,” he added.

The latest assessments of humanitarian food insecurity – the CPI ranking index used as a benchmark by humanitarian agencies – indicate that The entire population of Gaza (2.2 million people) faces “crisis” levels of food insecurity , according to the OCHA spokesperson. Of this number, around 1.17 million face “emergency” levels of food insecurity, and the situation of another 500,000 is “catastrophic”.

“We are facing a terrible situation that is approaching us at very high speed,” Laerke denounced, and his comments echoed a recent warning by UN humanitarians to the Security Council that Starvation in the enclave is “almost inevitable” unless aid is massively increased.

According to UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, The amount of humanitarian aid arriving in Gaza in February was only half of January’s total. “and we know that January was not enough at all.”

Last week, the Council heard briefings from leading humanitarian organizations, including the charity Doctors Without Borders, which reported that repeated attacks by Israeli forces on hospitals and other civilian buildings, as well as humanitarian personnel and convoys, was “intentional or indicative of irresponsible incompetence.”

Thursday afternoon, The Security Council held consultations behind closed doors, but they stagnated because of a presidential statement on emergency aid, according to media reports.

Reiterating repeated U.N. calls for a ceasefire, Lindmeier argued that The tragic deaths of a humanitarian convoy on Thursday highlighted how desperate Gazans are for food and fresh water. and other essential items after almost five months of war.

“That’s the real tragedy; This is the real disaster here, that food and supplies are so scarce “We see these situations looming and food supplies have been deliberately reduced,” he said, stressing that Gazans could no longer sustain themselves.

“The fields that existed, the greenhouses, some agriculture, all of that needs a water supply, or the water supply depends on electricity and pumping stations,” he explained . “This is the real drama; This simply underlines more and more the urgent need for a ceasefire now. If not now, then when? “, he settled.

Source: Latercera

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