Gaza population lacks food and faces malnutrition, says UN


All of Gaza's 2.3 million inhabitants lack sufficient food and face malnutrition, a UN World Food Programme official warned on Thursday.

Kyung-nan Park, director of emergencies for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), said that “100 per cent of the population is food secure” as Israel’s military campaign in the enclave continues.

She said WFP needed $112 million to be able to reach 1.1 million people in Gaza in the next 90 days.

“They are facing the risk of malnutrition,” she told Reuters.

The number of Palestinians killed in the war passed 10,500 on Wednesday, including more than 4,300 children, the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said. More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, most of them in the Hamas attack last month.

In addition to funding, WFP also needs regular entry into Gaza and safe access once inside to be able to reach the people in need, she added.

Since the re-opening of the Rafah crossing on the Gaza border with Egypt for humanitarian cargo on October 21, the daily average number of trucks that have crossed into Gaza has been less than a fifth of what it was before the conflict, according to the UN.

“Right now we're entering 40 to 50 trucks,” Ms Kyung-nan said of WFP. “For just WFP food assistance, we would need 100 trucks a day to be able to provide any meaningful humanitarian food to the people in Gaza.”

Her warning came as Israel agreed to put in place four-hour daily humanitarian pauses in its assault on Hamas in northern Gaza.

It comes after President Biden asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to institute the daily pauses during a phone call on Monday.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that the first humanitarian pause would be announced on Thursday and that the Israelis had committed to announcing each four-hour window at least three hours in advance.

The pauses would allow people to get out of harm's way and for deliveries of humanitarian aid and could be used as a way to get hostages out of Gaza.