The UN’s relief chief has warned that famine is “around the corner” for the people of the Gaza Strip, as they face the highest levels of food insecurity ever recorded.
The warning came from Mark Lowcock, the United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, who spoke out during a virtual press conference.
Lowcock said that the 1.8 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip are facing the worst humanitarian crisis in the fourteen-year-old blockade or conflict with Israel. Lowcock went on to say that the situation is made worse by the economic crisis in the region and the ongoing divide between the Hamas-controlled enclave and the more internationally recognized Palestinian Authority.
Lowcock revealed that only 16 per cent of the population in Gaza are able to meet their daily food needs. This is in stark contrast to 59 per cent in other parts of the occupied Palestinian territory and 57 per cent at a global level. Overall, he said, that is “the highest level of food insecurity ever recorded anywhere.”
The UN relief chief called on international donors to provide emergency assistance to help those in need in Gaza, noting that the United Nations had asked for US$ 459 million in November 2020, but so far only US$ 67 million has been provided.
He concluded his press conference by saying, “I ask the international community to support the people of Gaza. Famine is around the corner.”