16 Children Starve to Death in Gaza as WHO Warns Child Deaths Will “Rapidly Increase”

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Children in northern Gaza are starving, according to shocking reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Nine-year-old Yazan al-Kafarna, with his father, Ashraf, at his side, spent his final hours in a hospital in Gaza, too weak to move. He died on Monday, one of Gaza's hunger victims. (Mohamed El Saife/CBC)
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At the Kamal Adwan hospital, shockingly, more than fifteen youngsters have passed away from starvation and dehydration. The WFP has suspended food deliveries to the area due to the grave circumstances, as there has been turmoil, violence, and widespread looting.

The Gaza crisis has reached a crucial moment, with increasing bloodshed and severe barriers to humanitarian aid attempts. International alarm has been aroused by the Israel Defence Forces’ (IDF) recent actions, which have resulted in the blocking of assistance convoys and a worsening of the already poor situation in the region.

Children line up to receive food at a charity kitchen amid shortages of food supplies, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Tuesday. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)
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The World Food Programme (WFP) made a heroic effort to supply northern Gaza with much-needed food aid. Their convoy of fourteen trucks was turned back at an IDF roadblock, impeding their attempts. Sadly, the convoys were later plundered by irrational people, underscoring the misery prevailing in the area.

In reaction to the worsening situation, food was airdropped into northern Gaza by the United States. But these initiatives by themselves are insufficient to alleviate the pervasive hunger and malnutrition that the area is experiencing. The severe levels of food insecurity in Gaza are highlighted by the UN’s warning of an approaching famine in the absence of immediate intervention.

Palestinian children wait to receive food cooked at a charity kitchen, in Rafah on Tuesday. Aid groups in Gaza say the number of trucks bringing in food has been falling. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters)
Image source: www.cbc.ca

Allegations have been made against Israel throughout the unrest regarding intentional denial or obstruction of food assistance to Gaza. International criticism and conjecture have only increased as a result of the IDF’s actions in obstructing relief convoys and referring questions to Cogat.

There have been demands for an immediate ceasefire and greater access to humanitarian supplies in light of these events. While Hamas has stated that it is eager to carry on with ceasefire talks, the UN has circulated a draft resolution urging a temporary truce in Gaza.

In order to alleviate the situation, humanitarian activities are being carried out in both Israel and Gaza, with a number of foreign organisations and nations providing resources and pushing for talks towards a ceasefire. To lessen the suffering of innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire, quick and coordinated action is necessary given the urgency of the situation.

16 Children Starve to Death in Gaza as WHO Warns Child Deaths Will “Rapidly Increase”
Image source: www.cbc.ca

The situation of Gaza’s residents is getting worse as the fighting continues. To stop more deaths and lessen the suffering of those impacted by this humanitarian crisis, it is essential that all parties prioritise the safety of civilians and provide unhindered access to humanitarian relief.


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