Asia, India, China, Middle East, Health/Nutrition/Food Safety

FAO: Every day, more and more people in Gaza are on the brink of famine-like conditions

Conflict and hunger are inextricably linked to one another. Conflict often leads to severe humanitarian crises, resulting in heightened levels of hunger in specific regions. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) plays a crucial role in addressing these challenges, often operating on the front lines alongside other UN and stakeholder partners to preserve lives and livelihoods.

In an interview with FAO Newsroom, Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol, who oversees the Organization´s work in emergencies, provided insightful updates on FAO’s efforts in conflict-affected regions, including Gaza, Sudan, and Ukraine, shedding light on the challenges faced and the progress made in addressing food insecurity and promoting stability.

Beth Bechdol: “We are in these difficult places to address malnutrition and food insecurity –to deal with unique responses to support the most vulnerable populations. We must also ensure that in these contexts, we are working to rehabilitate agricultural production and agrifood systems. There’s a critical role tied to FAO’s very core mandate.

“There are unprecedented levels of acute food insecurity, hunger, and near famine-like conditions in Gaza. It’s an unprecedented situation that we find ourselves in. We have categories for how we measure acute food insecurity known as the IPC phase classifications, IPC 3, 4, and 5, which take us from emergency to crisis, to catastrophe. All 2.2 million people in Gaza are in these three categories.

“We’ve never seen this before in the analysis and the review that the IPC structure takes on in countries all around the world. Very concerningly, we are seeing more and more people essentially on the brink of and moving into famine-like conditions every day. At this stage, probably about 25% of that 2.2 million are in that top-level IPC five category.

“So, with every passing day of not finding a solution to the conflict itself, having a ceasefire or some other end to the hostilities, more and more people are simply going hungry and having less accessibility to food, nutrition, water, and medical services that are so needed there.

“We are in a position where we have staff in Palestine, in the West Bank, and are watching all of the circumstances that are unfolding. Sadly, it’s difficult for us to be on the front line to provide any kind of agricultural production support because most of it has been significantly damaged, if not destroyed.

“Right now, the highest priority is making sure that food, water, and medical supplies are the highest prioritized deliveries that are going into Gaza.”

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Read the full story here
Photo: Credit FAO/Marco Longari
Video: Credit FAO

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