US Aid Chief Confirms Famine in Gaza

Sat Apr 13 2024
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WASHINGTON: A senior US humanitarian official has said that famine is already occurring in parts of Gaza Strip, echoing findings from an UN-backed report and months of warnings from aid organizations about the dire conditions in the war-torn territory.

Samantha Power, head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), made the admission on Wednesday in response to questions from a Democratic congressman regarding a leaked USAID cable. The cable indicated that famine was already occurring in parts of Gaza.

Power stated that it was “credible” that famine is occurring in line with an Integrated Food Classification (IPC) assessment from mid-March, which warned of imminent famine in northern governorates and the possibility of it spreading by May.

This acknowledgment from a US official marks the first public confirmation of famine in Gaza, despite ongoing concerns raised by humanitarian experts.

First Public Confirmation of Famine in Gaza

The leaked cable, reported by Huffpost, highlighted USAID’s internal analysis, predicting an acceleration in deaths from malnutrition in the coming weeks.

The situation has prompted calls for action to improve aid access and assistance. Action Against Hunger UK has emphasized the need for a “massive scale-up” of deliveries to address the crisis.

Gaza’s health system has collapsed, with only a fraction of hospitals operational due to attacks on medical facilities and restrictions on imports by t Israel. UNICEF reported that up to 600,000 children in Rafah are facing hunger.

Despite the urgent need for assistance, access to the north of Gaza remains restricted, with food convoys repeatedly turned away by Israeli authorities.

The entire population of 2.3 million in Gaza is grappling with high levels of food insecurity, exacerbated by limited access to clean water and dysfunctional water pipelines.

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