Media Centre - Statement - 19 March 2024

Famine imminent in northern Gaza

The situation in Gaza is catastrophic. This human-made situation will worsen rapidly unless significant, immediate measures are taken.

Responding to the IPC partnership’s latest report on food insecurity in Gaza, Dr Unni Krishnan, Plan International’s Global Humanitarian Director, said:

“Famine is now imminent in northern Gaza. According to the IPC Partnership’s findings released today, the situation in Gaza is catastrophic. Famine is expected to occur between now and mid-May in northern Gaza and the rest of the Gaza Strip is at risk of famine. The entire population of the Gaza Strip is facing high levels of acute food insecurity.

“It is absolutely devastating that children and all civilians in Gaza are facing famine. No conflict should ever come to this. The IPC acute food insecurity analysis warned in December 2023 that famine may occur by the end of May 2024 if an immediate cessation of hostilities and sustained access to the provision of essential supplies and services to the population did not take place – since then, the conditions necessary to prevent famine have not been met.

“This horrific situation was entirely avoidable, and it’s not too late to take action to prevent more children from dying. We fully agree with the IPC warning: waiting for a confirmation that famine is occurring or has actually occurred to take radical measures is indefensible.

“The IPC’s findings should be seen as a stark wake up call. Children in Gaza can’t afford for the international community to waste any more time. More urgently than ever before, Plan International calls for an immediate, unconditional and permanent ceasefire and a massive increase in humanitarian assistance and improved, secure, and unimpeded access for relief supplies and humanitarian workers.

“It is absolutely critical to establish secure and transparent channels for life saving aid delivery through all entry points on the ground while exploring all other options to ensure that food, nutrition, medical assistance and clean water and sanitation supplies reach those in need. Israeli’s restrictions on aid, siege tactics, and Israeli military attacks against civilians, humanitarian aid, health and relief workers must cease immediately. The starvation of the civilian population is illegal under International Humanitarian Law.

“States must also stop sending arms while there is a risk they are used to commit or facilitate serious violations of International Humanitarian Law. Palestinian civilians are now starving and facing a famine because of these tactics and we condemn this completely. They must immediately be able to access the medical and nutritional interventions that could save their lives. The world must understand that some only have days left and this catastrophic, human-made situation will worsen rapidly unless significant, immediate measures are taken.”

Children never start wars, but they always suffer the most because of them. And right now, northern Gaza has been described as “hell on earth”. With the help of partner organisations, Plan Internatioanl Australia are on the ground in Gaza supporting children and their families with urgent humanitarian aid. We are providing food, water, and first aid kits. You can donate right now at the link here

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Claire Knox

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