Security Council urges Israel to step up as Gaza nears brink of famine

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NEW YORK – A senior UN official informed the Security Council that at least 576,000 people in Gaza, equivalent to a quarter of the population, are one step away from famine. The occurrence of widespread famine is almost inevitable unless action is taken, Al-Mamlaka TV reported.

Ramesh Rajasingham, Director of Coordination of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), emphasized the following points:

  • Achieving any meaningful progress remains unlikely due to ongoing hostilities and the potential for their spread to densely populated areas in southern Gaza. Therefore, we reiterate our call for a ceasefire.
  • One out of every six children under the age of two in northern Gaza suffers from severe malnutrition and wasting.
  • The entire population of the Gaza Strip, totaling 2.3 million people, relies on food assistance that is "grossly inadequate" for survival.
  • The UN and relief organizations face immense obstacles in delivering even the minimum essential supplies to Gaza.
  • These obstacles include border closures, restrictions on movement and communication, cumbersome audit procedures, damaged roads, and unexploded ordnance.
اضافة اعلان

Additionally, Carl Skau, the World Food Program's (WFP) Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, addressed the Security Council, stating that the program is "ready to expand our operations and increase their scale rapidly if a ceasefire agreement is reached. However, the risk of famine worsens due to the inability to bring vital food supplies to Gaza in sufficient quantities, compounded by the near-impossible working conditions faced by our staff on the ground."

Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Guyana's Permanent Representative to the UN, emphasized that "using starvation as a method of warfare is illegal," and Guyana condemns those who deliberately employ it as a tool against Gaza's population.

Echoing Guyana's stance, Algeria's Ambassador to the UN, Amar Belani, asserted to the Security Council that "the aggression against Gaza is not a war against Hamas but collective punishment imposed on the Palestinian people."

Jonathan Miller, the deputy Israeli ambassador to the UN, asserted that Israel is committed to improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza. He added that the restrictions imposed on the quantity and pace of aid depend on the capacity of the UN and other agencies.

"Israel has been clear in its policies. There is no limit whatsoever, and I repeat, there is no limit to the amount of humanitarian aid that can be sent to civilians in Gaza," Miller told the Security Council.

However, Robert Wood, the Deputy US Ambassador at the UN, stated, "Israel must do more." As Israel's ally, the US urged it to keep border crossings open for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza and facilitate the opening of additional crossings.

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