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Statement by WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain on the humanitarian pause in Gaza

ROME - Today’s agreement to a humanitarian pause in fighting in Gaza is an important and welcome first step. As hunger threatens the lives of nearly every civilian in Gaza, this agreement must be upheld in full to allow food and other life-saving supplies to reach those who so desperately need it.

WFP is rapidly mobilizing to scale up assistance inside Gaza once safe access is granted. Our fleet of trucks are waiting at the Rafah crossing, loaded with food slated for families in shelters and homes across Gaza, and wheat flour for bakeries to resume operations. I am hopeful that the agreement for fuel materializes, so that our trucks can carry in much needed supplies and that once again bread will be available as a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of people every day.   

Once in effect, this agreement must be upheld in full by all parties. Humanitarians must have safe, unimpeded access, and civilians must be able to receive assistance safely, wherever they are. A steady and sufficient amount of humanitarian supplies must be able to cross into Gaza.

While this agreement is an important first step, four days’ worth of aid will not make a meaningful difference in this ocean of need. For any true respite, this pause must continue and the steady flow of aid must continue, and at scale.

More than anything, what is needed is peace. I call on leaders to use this pause as a pathway to de-escalation in an effort to end this horrific conflict.


Statement attributable to the World Food Programme Executive Director, Cindy McCain

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.


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