Arab News Headlines

UN agencies warn of ‘explosion’ in Gaza child deaths


Geneva, An alarming lack of food, surging malnutrition and the rampant spread of disease could spark an explosion in child deaths in Gaza, the United Nations warned Monday.

Wafa News Agency quoted UN agencies as saying that food and safe water had become ‘incredibly scarce’ in the Palestinian territory, adding that virtually all young children had infectious illnesses.

‘The Gaza Strip is poised to witness an explosion in preventable child deaths which would compound the already unbearable level of child deaths in Gaza,’ said Ted Chaiban, deputy head of humanitarian action at the UN children’s agency UNICEF.

‘Hunger and disease are a deadly combination,’ World Health Organization emergencies director Mike Ryan said in a statement.

‘Hungry, weakened and deeply traumatized children are more likely to get sick, and children who are sick, especially with diarrhea, cannot absorb nutrients well,’ he said.

Ryan added ‘It’s dangerous, and tragic, and happening before our eyes.’

According to a report issued by UN
ICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Food Program (WFP), at least 90 percent of children under five in the Gaza Strip are affected by one or more infectious disease. Seventy per cent had diarrhea in the past two weeks, a 23-fold increase compared with the 2022 baseline.

United Nations agencies indicated that this data was collected last month, and the situation is likely to be more serious now, stressing that this deterioration in the food situation within months is unprecedented in the world.

Source: Syrian Arab News Agency