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Food insecurity in Gaza reaches ‘extremely critical state’: UNRWA


Gaza, Feb 22

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has warned that food insecurity in the northern Gaza Strip had reached an “extremely critical state” because of the restrictions imposed on the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The agency said on Wednesday in a press statement that 51 per cent of missions planned by the UNRWA and other humanitarian institutions to deliver aid to and undertake assessments in northern Gaza this year have been denied access by Israeli authorities, Xinhua news agency reported.

The number of trucks entering Gaza is significantly fewer than the target number of 500 trucks per day, with great difficulties in sending supplies through the Kerem Shalom and Rafah crossings, it said.

UNRWA added that the lives of about 400,000 people were threatened by starvation in the northern Gaza Strip, calling on international institutions to increase their assistance, especially to the areas in the northern part of the enclave.

In addition, the media office of the Hamas-run government in Gaza on Tuesday urged the World Food Program (WFP) to reverse its decision to suspend the delivery of food aid in the northern Gaza Strip.

The office said in a press statement that it considered the decision tantamount to “sentencing death to 75 per cent of a million people and further deteriorates the humanitarian situation exponentially”.

The WFP said in a statement on social media platform X on Tuesday that it’s “pausing the deliveries of life-saving food assistance to northern Gaza until safe conditions are in place for our staff and the people we are trying to reach”.

The organisation said the decision “has not been taken lightly,” adding “the safety and security to deliver critical food aid — and for the people receiving it — must be ensured”.

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