Gaza, Famine is Inevitable: “Terrible Hunger and Suffering”

The entire population of the sector, more than 2 million people, faces food insecurity ranging from “acute” to “catastrophic”

“Act now to prevent the unthinkable.” The UN is once again drawing attention to the increasingly dramatic situation of the people of Gaza, displaced and weakened by months of war. Aid is virtually non-existent, and famine could appear “any time before May 2024 in the northern areas.” So says FAO, which has published a new report on the integrated food security phase classification (IPC) in the Gaza Strip. According to the document, the entire population of Gaza, 2.23 million people, is facing severe food shortages, and half are in a “catastrophic situation.”

“Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are experiencing terrible hunger and suffering,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “This is the highest number of people suffering from catastrophic hunger ever recorded by the Integrated Food Security Classification System anywhere and at any time.”

Guterres added: “It’s a man-made disaster. The report makes it clear that it can be stopped.” This requires an immediate ceasefire and a massive influx of aid to the exhausted population. “I call on the Israeli authorities to ensure full and unimpeded access to humanitarian aid throughout Gaza, and on the international community to fully support our humanitarian efforts,” he said. “We must act now to avoid the unthinkable, unacceptable, and unjustifiable.”

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also said there is a “severe food shortage” for 100% of Gaza’s population: “This is the first time the entire population has been put in this position.”

Meanwhile, the European Union has overcome differences with the countries, most supportive of Israel (Germany, Czechia, and Austria), and reached a “political agreement” on sanctions against extremist Israeli settlers. European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell described the situation this way: “Gaza was the largest open-air prison before the war. Today it is the largest open-air graveyard. A graveyard for tens of thousands of people, a graveyard for many of the most important principles of humanitarian law.”