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Press release

Occupied Palestinian Territory

Full scale military intervention in Rafah threatens civilians and jeopardize humanitarian assistance

Unsuccessful attempt to bring an immediate ceasefire and a massive increase in humanitarian aid would be a historic failure to protect civilians in armed conflict. Action Against Hunger calls on the international community and donors to take all possible measures to protect civilians and secure humanitarian aid.

Disruption of an already limited humanitarian assistance would have incalculable repercussions. More than half a million people already face catastrophic conditions of food insecurity according to the global Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) records.  In addition, the severe lack of adequate water and sanitation has led to an increase of diseases. The World Health Organisation reported more than 161,000 cases of diarrhea (some 85,000 of them in children under five) and almost 246,000 cases of acute respiratory diseases across the Gaza Strip.

The current escalation of violence in southern Gaza is a further threat to humanitarian aid. “If the military operations continue and expand, Action Against Hunger will be forced to suspend its activities in Rafah. This is one of the areas where we have the most active operations, and where many of our colleagues are located,” warns Noelia Monge, Head of Emergencies for Action Against Hunger. 

“Our activities include water trucking, solid waste collection, cleaning services and the distribution of hygiene kits and food. These life-saving activities could be disrupted, stripping a population of their most basic needs and forcing them to relocate yet again at a time when they need us most. Ten of our staff and their families will be forced to flee, once again, and we will lose access to our newly established office, warehouse, and guesthouse,” she adds.

Over the past four months, Action Against Hunger has provided humanitarian assistance to more than 340,000 people in Gaza, including pregnant women, mothers, newborns and families with dependent children. 

The military operations in Rafah threaten the continuity of these services and of the humanitarian assistance for millions of vulnerable people who have no longer have safe place to take refuge.


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