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Desperate need for food aid growing in Gaza

Multiple countries are already parachuting food aid crates into the Gaza Strip, as the food situation there is deteriorating fast.
Desperate need for food aid growing in Gaza
Posted at 3:38 PM, Feb 29, 2024

The United Nations is warning that more than a half-million people in Gaza are now on the brink of starvation. The warning comes as more than 100 people were killed and 760 injured when Israel Defense Forces opened fire on Palestinians there as they swarmed a food aid delivery truck. Israel says it is investigating the incident.

Several media reports now suggest that the U.S. may be considering dropping food aid from cargo planes flying over Gaza. The White House wouldn't comment on the reports. 

Multiple countries are already parachuting food aid crates into the Gaza Strip. All of this comes as the food situation there is rapidly deteriorating.

In Gaza, hope — much like food — is becoming increasingly harder to find.

"I am not ashamed to say it. It's become normal, because we have reached a level of famine. Tens of children have become martyrs because of the famine," said Dr. Amjad Elewa, a specialist in emergency medicine at Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza. "I cannot wait until my child is martyred because of the famine. We all have reached the stage that we are not ashamed to go and get a bag of flour."

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said at least a half-dozen children in Gaza have died from malnutrition so far. The United Nations warns that 1 in 6 children in northern Gaza are suffering from acute malnutrition.

People living there have become desperate for any aid, often overwhelming the few trucks able to get into the strip.

"The chaos around the aid line is becoming worse and worse because there's so little aid coming in." said Jan Egeland, secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council. "Today, I'm pretty shaken actually from what I saw."

In the meantime, several countries including Jordan, France, Egypt and Qatar have been coordinating critical air drops of food into Gaza. 

Famed chef Jose Andres, whose nonprofit World Central Kitchen helps feed people in disaster areas around the world, is now partnering with the Jordanian military on food drops into northern Gaza.

"I know there should be easier ways to bring food and medicine, but under the circumstance, everybody is doing what they can to be creative," Andres said on a video he posted on his account on X, previously known as Twitter.

Officials, though, warn much more food aid will be needed, with time potentially running out for some of the war's youngest victims.

USAID, which is the U.S. government agency that helps people overseas facing disaster, announced this week an addition $53 million in humanitarian assistance for Palestinians.

However, it is not just food aid that is a problem — there is also a lack of drinkable water for people in Gaza, which is leading to the rapid spread of infectious diseases.

SEE MORE: Gaza, hostages lead topics on Biden's call with Egypt, Qatar leaders

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