Middle East

Food situation in Gaza is “horrific,” WHO official says

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy

Lack of access to food in Gaza has created a “horrific situation” for the millions of displaced residents in the Palestinian enclave, a World Health Organization official said Tuesday.

The remarks from WHO emergency coordinator Sean Casey come as multiple aid agencies warn of the risk of famine in Gaza more than three months after the outbreak of Israel’s war with Hamas.

In northern Gaza, there is “almost no food available and everybody we talked to begs for food,” Casey told a news briefing Tuesday.

Casey, who has carried out several WHO missions to northern Gaza, said each time his team delivered medical supplies to the region, they were asked to bring food the next time.

“That’s not possible for a number of reasons including coordination and security concern,” he said. 

The United Nations’ health agency has “no communication with entire areas,” but Casey said when he meets a patient who has had a double amputation and asks for food or water, it is clear “they’re not getting their basic needs met.”

WHO has been unable to reach northern Gaza since December 26 and was forced to cancel six planned missions, according to briefing notes sent to CNN.

Many people in central Gaza are also going hungry because there is not enough food coming in, Casey said.

Even in southern Gaza, closest to the Rafah border crossing with Egypt where deliveries are received, not many people are eating a full meal a day, he said.

“It’s a horrific situation across the board,” Casey said.

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