UNRWA chief says ‘man-made famine’ can still be averted in Gaza if vital aid allowed in

Famine in the Gaza Strip can be averted if vital aid is allowed into the Palestinian territory, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees says, more than four months into the Israel-Hamas war that began with the Hamas terror onslaught on October 7.

“This is a man-made disaster,” UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini says on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, of the dire humanitarian conditions in war-battered Gaza.

“The world committed to never let famine happen again,” he continues, saying that “famine can still be avoided through genuine political will to grant access and protection to meaningful assistance.”

Aid agencies have increasingly voiced concern for ordinary Gazans caught up in Israel’s war with Hamas, the terror group that has ruled the coastal territory since 2007.

The UN has warned of looming famine threatening virtually everyone in Gaza, while the World Food Programme this week described “unprecedented levels of desperation.”

Lazzarini — under fire over allegations that UNRWA workers took part in the murderous October 7 assault that sparked the war — said the last time the agency was able to deliver food aid to northern Gaza was more than one month ago, on January 23.

The UN humanitarian agency OCHA said the situation in the north of Gaza was “extremely critical,” with concern also mounting about conditions in the south.

Authorities in the Hamas-ruled territory said in recent days a number of children have died from malnutrition.

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