Acute food insecurity looming in Gaza-Palestinian Envoy

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The Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria, Abdullah Abu Shawesh, has called on the need for more humanitarian aid to Gaza, to avert acute food insecurity.

He made this known in a statement in Abuja.

Shawesh while quoting the UN Secretary General António Guterres, said, “Palestinians in Gaza are enduring horrifying levels of hunger and suffering …

“This is the highest number of people facing catastrophic hunger ever recorded …anywhere, anytime”

He also quoted UN Human Rights Chief, Volker Türk as saying, “hunger, starvation and famine” were the result of Israel’s “extensive restrictions on the entry and distribution of humanitarian aid and commercial goods”

Shawesh said “100% of the population in Gaza is at severe levels of acute food insecurity.

“That’s the first time an entire population has been so classified.

“There are 700,000 internally displaced persons taking refuge in only 20% of the Gaza Strip.”

He said the EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell spoke at the opening of a conference on humanitarian aid for Gaza in Brussels.

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According to him, Borrell said, “In Gaza we are no longer on the brink of famine, we are in a state of famine, affecting thousands of people,”….

The Palestinian Ambassador further said, “Malnutrition is a devastating threat to lives across Gaza, as evidenced by the UN published report on March 15, 2024.

“One in three children under two in the Northern Gaza Strip suffer from acute malnutrition…

“Nutrition screening conducted by UNICEF and partners in the North in February found that 4.5 per cent of the children in shelters and health centers suffer from severe wasting, the most life threatening from the malnutrition .”

While quoting OXFAM,, Shawesh said “Malnourished children in Gaza are also at high risk of medical complications and death if they do not receive urgent therapeutic food and appropriate treatment which are currently unavailable in Gaza.

“Only 2 percent of the food needed has entered Gaza since the blockade was imposed,.”

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On employment, the ambassador said, “Palestinian unemployment rate set to soar to 57% during first quarter of 2024.

He further decried to the presence of explosive materials in and around Gaza.

“Another life-threatening issue for Gazans today is the presence of remaining explosive materials hidden under the rubble, on the streets, and everywhere else.

“Mine action partners are currently conducting assessments of the explosive threat and educating Gazans on how to avoid it,”he said.

While quoting OCHA, Shawesh said “Larger-scale assessments are urgently required.

“But response efforts have been hampered by restrictions on the import of humanitarian mine action supplies and authorization requirements for the deployment of specialized personnel.”

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