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FACTBOX-Details of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza

The Gaza Strip is suffering an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe, nearly seven months after Israel launched a devastating offensive in response to the October 7 Hamas-led attacks that killed 1,200 people in Israel.

More than 34,600 people have been killed in the Israeli offensive, which has devastated much of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. It is feared that thousands more dead will disappear under the rubble. Here are some details of the humanitarian situation:

DISPLACEMENT, SHELTER According to the United Nations Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA), an estimated 1.7 million people, more than 75% of Gaza’s population, have been displaced. Many of them have been forced to move repeatedly.

Many have sought shelter in Rafah on the Egyptian border, where the threat of an Israeli attack has been high for months, raising concerns of an even greater humanitarian crisis. The displaced have crowded into crowded shelters in or near UNRWA facilities, such as schools, makeshift tents and houses that have not been razed.

According to a World Bank interim damage assessment published in March, the conflict has damaged or destroyed about 62% of all homes in Gaza, or 290,820 homes. It could take up to 14 years to remove the enormous amount of debris, including unexploded ordnance, according to a senior officer at the UN Mine Action Service.

looming famine The World Food Program (WFP) says 1.1 million people in Gaza are facing catastrophic hunger. The situation is particularly dire in the north.

There has been no formal declaration of famine in Gaza by UN agencies: such a declaration depends on a set of criteria that measure the extent of a population’s hunger and is assessed by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), an initiative from more than a dozen UN agencies, regional bodies and aid groups. However, Executive Director of the WFP

Cindy McCain told NBC News that there is now “complete famine” in northern Gaza.

In excerpts of an interview that aired May 5 on “Meet the Press,” McCain told NBC she hoped for a ceasefire agreement so more aid could be delivered more quickly. “There is a famine – a full-blown famine – in the north, and it is spreading to the south. And so what we are asking for and what we have continually asked for is a ceasefire and the ability to have unfettered access,” he said. McCain.

Her comments followed WFP Deputy Chief Carl Skau’s comments on April 25 that more aid must be delivered to prevent famine in northern Gaza, despite what he described as an increase in deliveries and some progress in access to that part of Gaza. Gaza’s Health Ministry reported on April 25 that at least 28 children, most of them as young as 12 months old, had died since February due to malnutrition and dehydration.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says in a report for the period up to April 20 that 16 to 25% of children between 6 and 59 months in northern Gaza suffer from acute malnutrition, while 2 to 4% of them suffer from severe acute malnutrition . . In southern Gaza, 3 to 7% of children suffer from acute malnutrition, the report said. By the end of April, four bakeries in northern Gaza had reopened with support from WFP. UNRWA calls it a drop in the ocean.

The UN’s senior humanitarian and reconstruction coordinator for Gaza, Sigrid Kaag, said on April 24 that the scarcity of food and other essential goods had led to a breakdown of civil order, and that there was no effective law enforcement. PRESS ISRAEL FOR MORE HELP

Israel, which laid siege to Gaza in the early days of the war, has faced increasing international pressure, including from its ally the United States, to allow more aid. American pressure on Israel increased further after an Israeli attack on April 1 killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers. Israel checks all aid shipments before they enter Gaza.

In early April, Israel pledged to improve access to aid, particularly in northern Gaza, including reopening the Erez border crossing and allowing use of the port of Ashdod. The Israeli military said on April 28 that the amount of aid going to Gaza would be increased in the coming days. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on April 29 that “measurable progress” has been made in the humanitarian situation. But he said it was still not enough and said he would put pressure on Israeli officials to do more.

In March, the EU’s foreign policy chief said Israel was causing famine in Gaza and using famine as a weapon of war. Israel’s foreign minister rejected the accusation, saying it had allowed in “extensive humanitarian aid.” Israel has also accused Hamas of stealing aid – which Hamas strongly denies – and has blamed UN agencies, calling them inefficient. The United States is building a pier for Gaza to deliver aid, although U.N. officials have said this is not a replacement for land routes from Israel to Gaza. The United States and some of its allies have also air-dropped aid to Gaza. A number of Palestinians have drowned or been killed by air assistance.

DISEASES SPREAD UNDER DECIMATED HEALTH SYSTEM Gaza’s health infrastructure has been decimated, UN humanitarian official Kaag said on April 24. The few hospitals still standing are struggling to function due to severe supply shortages and frequent power outages. “As summer approaches and temperatures rise, communicable diseases threaten to sweep Gaza,” she said.

The WHO says only 11 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are even partially functioning: five in the north and six in the south. Donors have set up six field hospitals in southern Gaza. UNRWA says that as of April 18, eight of the 24 health centers it operates in the Gaza Strip were operational.

In a snapshot of the dire situation, WHO reported that two medical points near the largest site for displaced people in eastern Khan Younis were overwhelmed with daily cases of hepatitis, skin diseases and diarrhea, and that there was a critical shortage of medical supplies as UN officials came to visit. on April 9. The WHO said an estimated 9,000 critical patients need to be evacuated from Gaza.

WATER, SANITATION Gaza had been struggling with a water crisis for years before the latest conflict. Since the start of the war, the situation has deteriorated significantly.

Aid agencies warned in February that the majority of people did not have access to clean drinking water and that sanitation was completely ineffective because none of Gaza’s wastewater treatment systems were working. Outbreaks of diarrheal diseases and hepatitis A were among the indicators of poor water supply and sanitation. They insisted on sufficient fuel for the operation of crucial water and sanitation services. (Compiled by Tom Perry, Editing by Peter Graff and Frances Kerry)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)