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Half of Gazans Are Starving, Warns UN Food Agency Chief

World Food Programme Deputy Executive Director Carl Skau visited Gaza and spoke on the worsening humanitarian crisis and increasing food shortages, saying half of Gazans are starving amid the war between Hamas and Israel.

Video filmed by WFP shows Skau and other WFP representatives in Rafah on December 7 and 8.

“About half of the population in Gaza are starving and the needs that we are meeting is really nothing. The humanitarian operation is collapsing. With the chaos, with this active fighting it’s not possible to do the work that is needed to meet these massive needs and so we need supplies at a completely different scale. We need to be able to deliver them safely and we need to also be able to cater to our teams. To rotate our teams out. As I said, they’re living this crisis while they’re also trying to address it. It’s an unsustainable situation altogether,” Skau said.

According to WFP “between 83 and 97 percent of families are not consuming adequate food,” food prices have sharply increased, and local markets, commercial imports, food production and distribution systems have “all but collapsed.”

“As the fighting resumes, WFP is facing challenges in organizing distributions. The ongoing shelling and fighting have made the distribution of aid almost impossible, posing an incredible personal risk to life and limb for aid workers. There is little food to distribute in Gaza anyway, but the number of places where WFP and partners can safely provide this life-saving assistance is shrinking rapidly, putting hundreds of thousands at risk of being cut off from any form of relief,” WFP said in a press release. Credit: WFP via Storyful

Video transcript

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

- How are you?

- How are you?

- How are you?

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

- People are really desperate. And there is fear in the air. There is fear in the children's eyes that we see, and you can almost smell the fear. They don't know where to go they have nowhere to stay and we have no answers for them. And that's the most frustrating part, really, of being here. Not being able to help.

- So this is how they [INAUDIBLE] start the fire.

- About half of the population in Gaza are starving. And the needs that we are meeting is really nothing. The humanitarian operation is collapsing with the chaos, with this active fighting, it's not possible to do the work that is needed to meet these massive needs. And so we need supplies that are completely different scale. We need to be able to deliver them safely. And we need to also be able to cater to our teams, to rotate our teams out and in. As I said, they are living this crisis while they're also trying to address it. It's an unsustainable situation altogether.

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]