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Gaza’s starving children should be ‘an alarm like no other’: UN

Famine risk rising in Gaza: UN
Source: Pixabay

The United Nations on Tuesday called on the international community to “flood” Gaza with aid amid reports that children are dying of starvation in the war-torn territory.

“With children starting … to die from starvation, that should be an alarm like no other,” Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN humanitarian agency, told reporters in Geneva.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza has said up to 15 children have died from starvation and dehydration with others ailing and humanitarian agencies say the territory, under assault by Israel since the Hamas October 7 attacks into southern Israel, faces a dire food crisis.

The World Health Organization reported “grim” findings and scenes of starving children after reaching two northern hospitals with aid last weekend for the first time since October.

Doctors at Kamal Adwan hospital, the only paediatrics hospital in northern Gaza, told the team that “at least 10 children had died due to starvation”, Ahmed Dahir, who headed the mission, told a Geneva press briefing from the war-ravaged Palestinian territory.

The health ministry has since reported that the number of child deaths at the hospital due to malnutrition and dehydration had risen to 15, with another six acutely malnourished infants at dire risk.

“If not now, when is the time to pull the stops, break the glass and flood Gaza with the aid that it needs?” Laerke asked.

“That is what we need to see happen.”

US cargo planes airdropped more than 36,000 meals in northern Gaza on Tuesday in a joint operation with Jordan, he US military said, amid the international scramble to ease the growing humanitarian crisis there.

The UN has warned that famine in the Gaza Strip was “almost inevitable” due to the war that has been raging in the Palestinian territory since Hamas militants carried out their unprecedented October 7 attacks.

That attack resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people in Israel, according to an AFP tally of Israeli figures.

The Palestinian militants also took hostages, 130 of whom remain in Gaza.

Israel’s retaliatory bombardment and ground offensive have now killed more than 30,600 people, most of them women and children, according to the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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