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'Full-blown famine' in north Gaza, World Food chief warns

By AFP

May 4, 2024 10:47 PM


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The chief of the United Nations' food program has warned of a "full-blown famine" in northern Gaza and reiterated calls for a ceasefire in Israel's war against Hamas.

"There is famine, full-blown famine in the north and it's moving its way south," Cindy McCain, executive director of the World Food Program, said in an interview excerpt published Friday.

"What we are asking for and what we've continually asked for is a ceasefire and the ability to have unfettered access to get in safe... into Gaza -- various ports, various gate crossings," McCain continued.

The World Food Program is one of the many humanitarian groups trying to get aid into Gaza.

The World Health Organization said Friday that the availability of food in the Gaza Strip has very slightly improved, though the risk of famine continues in the besieged Palestinian territory, which is home to 2.4 million people.

Israel has repeatedly accused the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations of not distributing aid quickly enough.

The aid agencies blame the trickle of essential food into the Palestinian enclave on restrictions and inspections imposed by Israel.

The war in Gaza broke out after Hamas's unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

The militants also took around 250 hostages, of whom Israel estimates 128 remain in Gaza, including 35 believed to be dead.

Israel's devastating retaliatory campaign has killed at least 34,622 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.


AFP


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