U.S. Aid Experts Warn of ‘Unprecedented’ Hunger Spread in Gaza: Report

[ad_1]

In a government cable obtained by HuffPost, humanitarian experts warned that famine is likely already happening in parts of the Gaza Strip

As pressure mounts for President Joe Biden’s administration to push Israel towards a ceasefire, a cable drafted by officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development privately warned that hunger and malnutrition in Gaza has reached levels that are “unprecedented in modern history,” according to a report from the HuffPost.

The government cable, which was obtained by the outlet, was issued to the White House’s National Security Council, State Department offices, and diplomatic posts overseas. Officials stated that famine, which USAID previously said was “imminent” on March 18, is now likely happening throughout parts of the Gaza Strip and that the rate of hunger-related deaths will “accelerate in the weeks ahead.”

The assessment added that “humanitarians will face considerable challenges in providing life-saving aid and specialized services to those in need in Gaza” and said “ongoing hostilities … resulted in the deaths of 196 humanitarian workers between October 7, 2023, and March 25, 2024.” The cause of death was not specified.

On Monday, seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen (WCK) were killed in an Israeli airstrike after they delivered a crucial shipment of food to displaced civilians in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later confirmed Israeli Defense Forces forces were responsible for the deaths, and said the workers were “unintentionally hit” and that the IDF was “investigating the matter fully.” WCK said that it would be pausing their operations immediately in the region.

Trending

Last month, WCK became the first to test a new maritime corridor for desperately needed aid to northern Gaza, where the United Nations’ Integrated Food Security Phase Classification previously estimated famine will reach by May and could spread throughout the rest of Gaza by July. However, Tuesday’s cable said that given “that the drivers of malnutrition … did not significantly improve between February and March, even in the best-case scenario the threshold to support a Famine determination has likely already been crossed,” noting that in Northern Gaza “famine conditions are most severe and widespread.”

The document also stated that while airdrops and the Biden administration’s plan to install a floating pier off the Gaza coast would “complement but not replace land routes,” they would not be enough to address the scale of famine.

[ad_2]

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *