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As we approach the one-hundred-day point in the conflict between Israel and Gaza, more than 23,000 people have died in Gaza and hundreds of thousands more are on the brink of famine.
Gaza is experiencing catastrophic levels of hunger, outbreaks of disease, widespread internal displacement, and extremely limited humanitarian access. It is estimated that a staggering eighty percent of the global population facing famine or catastrophic levels of hunger in the world are located in Gaza. A permanent ceasefire is critical so that humanitarian organizations can reach those in need and impede further death and disaster.
“Our priority is for safe, sustained and sufficient access to vulnerable people to ensure they have the basic necessities to survive,” says Chiara Saccardi, Action Against Hunger’s regional head of operations in the Middle East. “The entire population of Gaza is displaced, hungry, thirsty, and many are sick and injured. The situation is beyond desperate and conditions are preventing us from meeting these vital needs on the scale required.”
“We are deeply concerned about this, as we should have improved access and protection during armed conflict. Many more people will die of hunger and disease if there is not an immediate ceasefire and an increase in aid,” concludes Saccardi.
For one-hundred days, humanitarian agencies like Action Against Hunger have been working under extreme conditions to distribute basic survival items. We are gravely concerned about the enormous loss of Palestinian lives in Gaza, especially women and children, and the imminent risk of famine that could cause this crisis to spiral into a humanitarian disaster of unimaginable proportions.
For more than three months, Action Against Hunger has been working in extreme conditions to provide clean water, distribute hygiene and shelter items along with fresh food to Gazans in shelters and their host communities. We have also provided cleaning and solid waste management services for displacement shelters, and constructed and provided latrines and hand-washing facilities.
Our teams were able to distribute 1 million litres of drinking water, reaching more than 51,600 displaced people; while more than 17,440 people received fresh food parcels, providing them with fresh vegetables and fruit at a time when most shops in Gaza were almost sold out. We also distributed hygiene items to 19 shelters, mostly in Rafah, benefiting more than 95,900 people; and other items for shelters, such as plastic sheeting and wood, to almost 17,500 people in 10 shelters.
However, due to the continuing blockade of Gaza, not enough life-saving aid is reaching people in need. Local market supplies are limited and inflation has soared, making prices unaffordable for most. Furthermore, access to aid is uneven as people continue to move in search of a safe place to live. We can no longer reach areas in the north, where people are most hungry, due to continued fighting and lack of fuel for transport.
Despite this unprecedented situation, our teams have reached 340,000 people in total in Gaza – approximately 60,000 families – since the beginning of the conflict. Almost half of them (48 per cent) were children.
The majority of the people we reached, as people continued to move southwards in search of a safe haven, were in Rafah (50 per cent). The rest were in Khan Younis (18 per cent), northern Gaza (18 per cent) and central Gaza (14 per cent).
Occupied Palestinian Territory
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