New Report Underscores Widespread and Deteriorating Hunger Conditions in Gaza as Residents Resort to Extreme Measures for Survival

25 June 2024

Humanitarian access remains a critical barrier as the specter of famine continues hanging over Gaza

The new IPC acute food security report released today projects that 96 percent of Gaza’s population – 2.15 million people – face high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phases 3,4 and 5) through September. While the latest analysis projects fewer people will face catastrophic levels of hunger in the coming months – 495,000 compared to the previously projected 1.1 million – there remains a high risk of famine amidst a deteriorating health and humanitarian situation across the entire Gaza Strip as long as conflict continues and humanitarian access is restricted.

Mercy Corps’ Vice President of Global Policy and Advocacy, Kate Phillips-Barrasso, says: 

“The fact that the entire population of Gaza is at emergency levels of hunger with nearly 500,000 people starving should come as no surprise, as the world has been watching Gaza’s humanitarian crisis worsen for nine months. The Rafah offensive brought the aid response to a halt, thwarting the ability of humanitarian organizations to mitigate the suffering of 2.15 million people who are experiencing severe food insecurity. People are enduring subhuman conditions, resorting to desperate measures like boiling weeds, eating animal feed, and exchanging clothes for money to stave off hunger and keep their children alive.

"Our team members have shared disturbing reports about the collapse of public order in the midst of such desperation. Rami, in the northern Gaza Strip, said: ‘Serious incidents of violence are occurring daily without accountability, resulting in deaths over trivial matters such as disputes over firewood weight or food cost.’

“Denied and delayed humanitarian convoys and lack of safe access for aid workers remain critical barriers to organizations seeking to provide relief as Gaza’s food crisis worsens. Despite some food trickling in, humanitarian aid is limited, scrutinized at the border, and, when permitted to cross, typically only reaches some city centers without proper security. Compounding the suffering is oppressive summer heat, no access to clean water, and increasing exposure to garbage and sewage. This lethal equation will undoubtedly lead to acute suffering and mortality. 

“The international community must apply relentless pressure to achieve a ceasefire and ensure sustained humanitarian access now. The population cannot endure these hardships any longer. The toll of military action has been far too high, and we fear without dramatic changes to the provision of humanitarian aid, the death toll will climb as people succumb to months of deprivation."


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