Entire Gaza residents facing starvation
The entire 2.3 million population of Gaza is facing crisis levels of hunger and the risk of famine is increasing each day, a United Nations-backed report says.
The proportion of households in Gaza affected
by high levels of acute food insecurity is the largest ever recorded globally,
according to the report by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification
The extent of hunger in Gaza has eclipsed
even the near-famines in Afghanistan and Yemen of recent years, according to
figures in the report.
‘Everybody in Gaza is hungry’
“It doesn’t get any worse,’’ the World Food
Programme’s chief economist, Arif Husain, said.
“I have never seen something at the scale
that is happening in Gaza and at this speed – how quickly it has happened in
just a matter of two months.”
The report by 23 UN and nongovernmental
agencies found that the entire population in Gaza is in a food crisis with
576,600 people at catastrophic – or starvation – levels.
“It is a situation where pretty much
everybody in Gaza is hungry,” Husain said.
“People are very, very close to large
outbreaks of disease because their immune systems have become so weak because
they don’t have enough nourishment,” he said.
The report said every single person in Gaza
is expected to face high levels of acute food insecurity in the next six weeks.
The 23 agencies forecast that in the “most
likely scenario”, the entire population of the Gaza Strip would be at “crisis
or worse” levels of hunger by February 7 after four months of war.
Under the IPC’s five-phase food insecurity
classification, crisis in phase three, emergency is phase four and catastrophe
or famine is phase five.