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FAO alarmed by famine in Gaza

Rome, Mar 18 (Prensa Latina) The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned about the critical situation in the Gaza Strip, threatened by famine due to Israel's attacks, and called for urgent assistance.

In a statement released on Monday, the press office of that institution noted that food insecurity in Gaza is catastrophic and famine may occur at any time between now and May 2024 in the northern governorates, while in the rest of the Strip may occur, if hostilities do not cease.

The statistics pointing to the worsening of the situation in that territory, where more than 31,000 people have already died as a result of Tel Aviv’s bombardments, are based on a new report published on Monday by the global initiative of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), according to the press release.

This latest report states that “the entire population of the Gaza Strip is facing high levels of acute food insecurity classified in IPC Phases 3 (Crisis), 4 (Emergency) or 5 (Catastrophe)”. This includes, the document added, “half of the population, or about 1.11 million people who are experiencing catastrophic food insecurity (IPC Phase 5).”

Compared to the previous analysis, published in December 2023, acute food insecurity in the Gaza Strip deepened and widened, with 79 percent more Palestinians “falling into catastrophic levels of hunger” in the current period, as of mid-March, and 92 percent as of July.

FAO Assistant Director General Beth Bechdol noted that this is the “highest level ever recorded, unlike anything we have seen before” and emphasized that “if action is not taken to end the hostilities and provide more humanitarian access, famine is imminent.”