UN warns of humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza as funding dries up
A spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General said that the money funding the World Food Programme in Gaza will run out without an urgent influx of cash.
Speaking to reporters during a briefing in New York, the spokesperson said: “The World Food Program says they’re facing a critical situation in Palestine, with the suspension of assistance to over 200,000 people set to take effect in June if funding is not secured urgently.”
He further warned that the WFP may be forced to suspend its operations entirely by August. “That means that 350,000 of the most vulnerable and food-insecure Palestinians will be deprived of assistance that allows them to feed their families,” he said as quoted by Haaretz.
He added that the recent fighting between Israeli forces and Islamic Jihad had further decimated Gaza’s weak economy.
🚨 Severe funding shortfalls to #Palestine are forcing WFP to suspend vital assistance for more than 200,000 people.— WFP in the Middle East & North Africa (@WFP_MENA) June 1, 2023
🎥 Watch WFP's Alia Zaki explain the current situation for families in #Gaza. pic.twitter.com/xe7YTFZXmm
The comments echo similar statements issued by the UN over the past month. Earlier in May, the UN warned that around 60 percent of the people the WFP assists in the Palestinian Territories would no longer receive food aid by June if it did not receive additional funding.
Israel’s establishment has been reportedly aware of the problem for weeks, according to Haaretz, and is viewed as largely responsible for the desperate plight of Gazans.
Israeli forces have laid siege to Gaza since 2007, effectively controlling the supply of food, medicine and other essential supplies into the densely populated strip of land.
They have repeatedly attacked the besieged enclave, killing hundreds of people and causing damage to homes, schools and hospitals.