UN: food supplies to southern Gaza at risk

New York, A senior United Nations official warned today that food supplies to southern Gaza are at risk due to Israel’s expanded military operations. He also highlighted a public health crisis among those displaced by the Israeli offensive.

Carl Skau, the Deputy Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), stated that the situation in southern Gaza is deteriorating, despite an existing hunger crisis in the northern part of the region over the past months.

The Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border had been the main supply route for aid during the ongoing eight-month conflict. However, operations at the crossing halted when Israel expanded its military campaign in early May in Rafah, where most of the population lived.

“Before the Rafah operation, we had stocked up on supplies to feed people, but those stocks are running out. We no longer have the same access to individuals that we need and used to have,” Skau said after a two-day visit to Gaza.

As Israel advanced in Rafah, many refugees were di
splaced again towards the north, heading to the coastal area of Mawasi, designated as a humanitarian zone.

“It’s a displacement crisis leading to a real protection disaster, with about a million people pushed out of Rafah now crammed into a small area along the beach,” Skau added. “The weather is hot, and sanitary conditions are very poor. We were driving through rivers of sewage. It’s a public health crisis in the making.”

Aid distribution faces challenges due to military operations, delays in permits from Israel, and increased chaos within Gaza.

Despite increased food shipments to northern Gaza, Skau emphasised the need for basic healthcare, water, and sanitation to “reverse the hunger curve in the north entirely.” He called for Israel to allow more healthcare supplies into Gaza.

Israel claims it does not restrict relief supplies for civilians in Gaza and accuses the UN of slowing aid deliveries or executing them inefficiently.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

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