Food Deliveries Paused in Gaza, Leading to Dire Warning

World Food Program says convoys were met with gunfire, looting
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2024 12:00 AM CST
Chaos in Northern Gaza Forces a Pause on Food Deliveries
Palestinian crowds struggle to buy bread from a bakery in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. International aid agencies say Gaza is suffering from shortages of food, medicine and other basic supplies as a result of the war between Israel and Hamas.   (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

The World Food Program announced Tuesday it has been forced to pause its its food deliveries in northern Gaza due to the increasing instability in the region. The WFP says it first suspended deliveries three weeks ago after an aid truck was hit in a strike, and that after attempting to re-start deliveries this week, the "complete chaos and violence due to the collapse of civil order" made it clear that couldn't happen. Convoys had to deal with gunfire, looting, and angry crowds trying to climb on vehicles, the BBC reports; a crowd even beat one driver, the AP reports.

The program says it is trying to find a way to start deliveries again as soon as possible, and adds that Gaza needs a lot more aid; in the past two weeks, aid truck entries into the territory have been cut by more than half. "Gaza is hanging by a thread and WFP must be enabled to reverse the path towards famine for thousands of desperately hungry people," the program says in a statement warning that "hunger-related" issues are already killing people in Gaza and that a "precipitous slide into hunger and disease" is possible. The UN children's agency also warned that one in six children in northern Gaza are acutely malnourished; the UN has been warning of impending famine in the north since December. (Israel on Sunday set a Ramadan deadline.)

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