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War and Hunger: Gaza’s Youngest Suffer as Food Shortages Bite

Daniel Kim Views  

AFP-Yonhap News

The United Nations reported on the 30th that children in the Gaza Strip, where ongoing attacks between the Israeli military and Hamas have been occurring for eight months, are suffering from severe malnutrition due to food shortages.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) launched an investigation into the nutritional status of infants aged 6 months to 2 years at food distribution sites in the Gaza Strip. Last month, the organization revealed that 85% had not been able to eat even one meal a day on average over the previous three days.

The dietary diversity of these infants was also lacking, with 95% consuming less than 2 types of food groups per day. The OCHA stated, “Dietary diversity is considered normal when consuming 5 or more out of 8 food groups per day, but the lack of dietary diversity among children in the Gaza Strip is indicating the worst condition possible.

Since January, 7.8% of the 93,409 children aged 6 months to 5 years who underwent nutritional screening at refugee protection facilities and medical centers in the Gaza Strip were found to suffer from acute malnutrition. Acute malnutrition is a more severe condition than general malnutrition, and if not treated promptly with nutritional supplies, can lead to death.

Residents of the Gaza Strip have been relying on international relief food since the outbreak of the war. However, the flow of relief supplies has significantly decreased since Israel took control of the Rafah border checkpoint, a key route for relief supplies, last July. The OCHA revealed that the volume of relief supplies entering the Gaza Strip from the 7th to the 28th of this month has dropped to an average of 58 trucks per day, compared to 176 trucks from the 1st of last month to the 6th of this month.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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