Gaza in bombs and hunger haunt/ WFP and partners push to ramp up support

As bombs and hunger haunt Gaza, WFP and partners push to ramp up support
Securing supply corridors and a pause in hostilities to enable safe humanitarian access are critical to save lives as conflict shows no sign of letting up.

Samer AbdelJaber can often be seen pacing up and down the halls of his base in Jerusalem. Grasping his phone, and with a steady voice, the World Food Programme’s (WFP) Country Director for Palestine negotiates humanitarian access into Gaza, where six weeks of war have killed more than 11,000 people and triggered mass displacement, widespread hunger and the risk of starvation.

The conflict has unleashed a humanitarian catastrophe beyond reckoning. Relentless bombardment and a severe lack of fuel and gas have suffocated the enclave and hindered all humanitarian operations, with only 10 percent of WFP’s available food assistance trickling through since the start of the crisis.

“We must reach everyone despite the odds. We are doing everything we can, engaging with all stakeholders, to get food into Gaza and carry out life-saving initiatives that can help people cope,” says AbdelJaber.

More than two thirds of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been forced out of their homes. Many now linger in overcrowded shelters, makeshift tents and open areas without enough food, clean water, proper sewage or sanitation. Entire districts have been razed to the ground along with markets, shops, bakeries and public services. Those lucky to escape death by bombardment risk starving to death or dying of disease.

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