Gaza faces famine-level shortages, mass death feared

Northern Gaza already far exceeds famine thresholds for food shortage, probably for malnutrition.

CAIRO (Reuters): Food shortages in parts of the Gaza Strip have already far exceeded famine levels, and mass death is now imminent without an immediate ceasefire and surge of food into areas cut off by fighting, the global hunger monitor said on Monday.
The U.N.-backed Integrated Food-Security Phase Classification, or IPC, which formally declares famines, said two of its three criteria – the overall shortage of food and prevalence of malnutrition – had probably already been met.
It did not have enough full data on death rates, its third criterion, but believed residents in affected areas would be dying of starvation and malnutrition at famine scale imminently, and children under four may already be.
“The actions needed to prevent famine require an immediate political decision for a ceasefire together with a significant and immediate increase in humanitarian and commercial access to the entire population of Gaza,” it said.
“All efforts must be made to ensure the provision of food, water, medicines, and protection of civilians, as well as to restore and provide health, water, and sanitation services, and energy.”
In all, 1.1 million Gazans, around half the population, were experiencing “catastrophic” shortages of food, the worst category, with around 300,000 in the areas now facing the prospect of famine-scale death rates.
The prospect of a man-made famine in Gaza has brought the strongest criticism of Israel from Western allies since it launched its war against Hamas militants following their deadly attack on Israeli territory on Oct. 7.
“In Gaza we are no longer on the brink of famine, we are in a state of famine, affecting thousands of people,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said at the opening of a conference on humanitarian aid for Gaza in Brussels.

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