Middle East

Children in Gaza who survived bombardment “may not survive a famine,” WHO chief warns

From CNN’s Niamh Kennedy in London

The children in Gaza who survived bombardment “may not survive a famine,” World Health Organization (WHO) chief Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus has warned amid reports of surging cases of child malnutrition in the enclave.

The WHO director-general gave the warning in a social media post on Wednesday, accompanied by a video testimony from a doctor based at the pediatric unit in the Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza.

“Malnutrition plays a major role in the number of children that come to us and the number of deaths,” Dr. Imad Dardonah said in the video.

Dardonah said doctors in his hospital cannot treat 50 percent to 60 percent of malnutrition cases they are receiving, adding that their only recourse is to provide the children with a saline or sugar solution.

At least 20 people have died due to malnutrition and dehydration since the war began in Gaza, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. Of those who have died 15 of them are children, the Ministry of Health said.

Jamie McGoldrick, a UN humanitarian coordinator who just returned from a two-day trip to Gaza, warned Thursday that hunger there has reached “catastrophic levels.”

“Children are dying from hunger,” McGoldrick told a media briefing, noting that Israel’s restrictions on food deliveries are having a detrimental impact on the everyday lives of children.

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