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Situation in Gaza: Aid constraints and health issues persist amid ongoing conflict
Photo Courtesy: UNRWA

Situation in Gaza: Aid constraints and health issues persist amid ongoing conflict

| @indiablooms | 28 Jun 2024, 06:15 pm

Delivery of humanitarian aid in Gaza remains a difficult and frustrating task for UN and partner agencies as the conflict there grinds on amid intense civilian suffering.

On Thursday, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, provided details from aid coordination office OCHA on how difficult providing aid has become for agencies in the enclave due to access constraints, food security and deteriorating health issues.

“Our partners report that limited access in the north is preventing the establishment of a new nutrition services centre in that area,” he told correspondents at UN Headquarters in New York.

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OCHA is also struggling with finding enough space to establish nutrition sites in Deir al Balah and Khan Younis. However, he said, the UN’s partners are working to further their efforts in those areas as well as in Al Mawasi and Gaza City.

Fighting disrupts food supplies

The World Food Programme (WFP) is also experiencing difficulties in delivering aid due to increased fighting in southern and central Gaza as well as restricted humanitarian aid and a lack of public safety and order in the south.

In spite of this, WFP was able to provide food to over 766,000 civilians in Gaza in June, but supplies have been reduced since aid is limited and food stocks have dwindled.

This month, WFP was also able to provide 9.4 million hot meals via a network of more than 90 community kitchens to about 300,000 people mostly in Deir al Balah and Khan Younis, Mr. Dujarric said.

He noted that WFP reported that a “shortage of cooking gas – combined with the absence of a public power supply – is hindering efforts to help to keep these community kitchens and bakeries running.”

UNRWA updates

The UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) highlighted that civilians in Gaza are now routinely living among piles of waste and sewage.

The reports also detail worsening health conditions due to overcrowded shelters and minimal food availability as water and fuel supplies remain limited along with access to medical supplies. The intense summer heat presents another massive threat to health.

Mr. Dujarric said UNRWA is continuing to gather and transport solid waste to temporary sites this month, although more slowly now that fuel is scarce.

Lack of fuel may also make it more difficult to continue maintaining the Southern Gaza Seawater Desalination Plant's electrical feeder line, he noted.

He said as UNRWA works to provide shelter for displaced people in Gaza, “repeated waves of displacement are wearing out makeshift shelters, which are having to be disassembled and reassembled again.”

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