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Gaza Strip: Over 100,000 Need Emergency Food Aid

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Palestinian families take shelter at an UNRWA school in Gaza City, after evacuating their homes in the northern Gaza Strip. Gaza City, July 13, 2014 © Shareef Sarhan/UNRWA Archives

Palestinian families take shelter at an UNRWA school in Gaza City, after evacuating their homes in the northern Gaza Strip. Gaza City, July 13, 2014 (Shareef Sarhan/UNRWA Archives)

As Israeli forces battle Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, hunger is also on the rise. Well over 100,000 people have been displaced by the fighting. Many Palestinians are seeking shelter in schools. But no place is safe from the violence or hunger afflicting Gaza.

The United Nations reports that farmers, fishermen and bakeries throughout Gaza have suffered damage to their operations. This will increase hardship and food shortages going forward.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said today it has reached over 100,000 war victims with emergency rations. Working with the UN Relief and Works Agency in Palestine (UNRWA), these food distributions have taken place in the schools-turned-shelters. But the UN food agency is also running out of supplies.  At least US $30 million is needed for WFP to feed Gaza for the rest of this year.

If the conflict persists, emergency food needs will only increase. WFP Country Director Pablo Recalde says, “The conflict in Gaza has affected a large number of people and the food needs rise every day. Most internally displaced families fled to UN schools used as shelters, while others found refuge with relatives or in government schools.”

Even before the latest round of fighting began, WFP and UNRWA fed about two-thirds of the population in Gaza. The never-ending cycle of violence between Israel and Palestine is clearly accompanied by hunger and poverty.

WFP and its partner agencies are struggling to bring relief to the war victims. Conflict and hunger in Syria, Iraq and Yemen have placed a great strain on humanitarian operations. There is also the famine threat from wars in Africa that has required massive resources to feed millions. We are experiencing the most refugees globally since World War II. Funding for humanitarian operations needs to increase to keep pace with the many emergencies.

UNRWA commissioner Pierre Krahenbuhl pleads, “What is happening in the Gaza Strip, the relentless violence, loss of life and mass displacement, can only be described as shocking. No people, under any circumstances, should be made to endure it. The reality being created before our eyes is unsustainable, for the Palestinians themselves and for the region as a whole. We cannot, and will not, abandon the people of Gaza and I call on the international community to come to their aid at this time of great need.”

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About William Lambers

William Lambers is the author of several books including Ending World Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World. This book features over 50 interviews with officials from the UN World Food Programme and other charities discussing school feeding programs that fight child hunger. He is also the author of Nuclear Weapons, The Road to Peace: From the Disarming of the Great Lakes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Open Skies for Peace, The Spirit of the Marshall Plan: Taking Action Against World Hunger, School Lunches for Kids Around the World, The Roadmap to End Global Hunger, From War to Peace and the Battle of Britain. He is also a writer for the History News Service. His articles have been published by newspapers including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Buffalo News, San Diego Union Tribune, the Providence Journal, Free Lance-Star (VA), the Bakersfield Californian, the Washington Post, Miami Herald (FL), Chicago Sun-Times, the Patriot Ledger (MA), Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail (WV), the Cincinnati Post, Salt Lake Tribune (UT), North Adams Transcript (MA), Wichita Eagle (KS), Monterey Herald (CA), Athens Banner-Herald (GA) and the Duluth News Journal. His articles also appear on History News Network (HNN) and Think Africa Press. Mr. Lambers is a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio with degrees in Liberal Arts (BA) and Organizational Leadership (MS). He is also a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.
  • nubwaxer

    there are 1.4 billion more muslims in the world who are probably compelled by their faith to provide charity to other muslims. where is the aid from them? or is it supposed to come from the people they call infidels?