Statement by the World Food Programme on growing humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza
ROME – The resumption of hostilities in Gaza will only intensify the catastrophic hunger crisis that already threatens to overwhelm the civilian population.
The seven-day pause in fighting allowed the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and our partners some safety to scale up relief operations. In that time, we were able to double the number of distribution points outside shelters and deliver food in places that had been impossible to reach, including in some northern areas. WFP reached approximately 250,000 people in just one week.
Tragically, this desperately needed progress is now being lost. The renewed fighting makes the distribution of aid almost impossible and endangers the lives of humanitarian workers. Above all, it is a disaster for the civilian population of Gaza, more than 2 million people, whose only lifeline is food assistance.
Humanitarians must have safe, unimpeded, and sustained access, so we are able to distribute life-saving assistance throughout the territory. All parties must uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law.
But only a lasting peace can end the suffering and avert the looming humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. WFP calls for a humanitarian ceasefire and urges all leaders to work with the utmost urgency to find political solutions that can end the suffering of families on all sides of this harrowing conflict.
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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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