WFP / GAZA FAMINE WARNING

08-Dec-2023 00:03:54
The World Food Programme (WFP) warned of looming famine in Gaza, as almost all Gazans surveyed are frequently without food. WFP
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STORY: WFP / GAZA FAMINE WARNING
TRT: 03:54
SOURCE: WFP
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT WFP ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / ARABIC NATS

DATELINE: 07 - 08 DECEMBER 2023, GAZA, PALESTINE
SHOTLIST
07 DECEMBER 2023, KHAN YOUNIS, GAZA, PALESTINE

1. Various shots, aftermath of bombing of home where 15 members of the Rabie family were killed

08 DECEMBER 2023, RAFAH, GAZA, PALESTINE

2. Various shots, WFP Deputy Executive Director Carl Skau visiting displaced people sheltering in a UN school
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Carl Skau, Deputy. Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP):
“People are really desperate and there is fear in the air. There is fear in the children's eyes that we see, and you can almost smell the fear. They don't know where to go, they have nowhere to stay, and we have no answers for them and that's the most frustrating part really. Being here but not being able to help.”
4. Various shots, Skau visiting displaced people sheltering in a UN school
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Carl Skau, Deputy. Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP):
“About half of the population in Gaza are starving and the needs that we are meeting is really nothing. The humanitarian operation is collapsing. With the chaos, with this active fighting it's not possible to do the work that is needed to meet these massive needs and so we need supplies at a completely different scale. We need to be able to deliver them safely and we need to also be able to cater to our teams. To rotate our team's out. As I said, they're living this crisis while they're also trying to address it. It's an unsustainable situation altogether.”

07 DECEMBER 2023, RAFAH, GAZA, PALESTINE

6. Various shots, WFP food distribution
7. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Warda Essam Abu Al-Araj, Displaced Palestinian:
“Safety, to find a safe place for my children and food to feed them, life is difficult, there is nothing left in the country.”
8. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Mohammed Al-Sabba, Displaced Palestinian:
“I personally was displaced from Gaza to the south. It impacted me and family a lot, we were used to a certain life, we could get by with our daily needs...we could get water from the tap, food, buying what we need from shops. Today, none of that exists. Now we have to go search for water and food for the family. All of this impacted us. Also, it's not safe. In any moment we can be displaced again.This has affected us and the psychological state of the children significantly.”
9. Various shots, WFP food distribution
STORYLINE
The World Food Programme (WFP) today (8 Dec) warned of looming famine in Gaza, as almost all Gazans surveyed are frequently without food.

The fighting in Gaza has resumed and more people have been forced to leave their homes, inflicting further suffering on a population already facing a risk of famine and disease. The aid that crossed during the seven-day pause was still not enough to reach everyone in need. And for at least three days after the pause, no food supplies have entered Gaza.

The alarming food security situation is only getting worse as the conflict grinds on, recent WFP phone-based monitoring shows. Between 83 – 97 percent of families are not consuming adequate food, and as many as 90 percent of households in some areas report spending a full day and night without any food, and some for as many as 10 of the last 30 days.

SOUNDBITE (English) Carl Skau, Deputy. Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP):
“People are really desperate and there is fear in the air. There is fear in the children's eyes that we see, and you can almost smell the fear. They don't know where to go, they have nowhere to stay, and we have no answers for them and that's the most frustrating part really. Being here but not being able to help.”

Markets have all but collapsed; no commercial cargo has entered Gaza in eight weeks. Most shops are either shut down or have nearly empty shelves. Prices of essential food items have spiked and aid deliveries during the humanitarian pause were insufficient to cater for the food and nutrition needs of people in Gaza.

SOUNDBITE (English) Carl Skau, Deputy. Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP):
“About half of the population in Gaza are starving and the needs that we are meeting is really nothing. The humanitarian operation is collapsing. With the chaos, with this active fighting it's not possible to do the work that is needed to meet these massive needs and so we need supplies at a completely different scale. We need to be able to deliver them safely and we need to also be able to cater to our teams. To rotate our team's out. As I said, they're living this crisis while they're also trying to address it. It's an unsustainable situation altogether.”

As the fighting resumes, WFP is facing challenges in organizing distributions. The ongoing shelling and fighting have made the distribution of aid almost impossible, posing an incredible personal risk to life and limb for aid workers.

There is little food to distribute in Gaza anyway, but the number of places where WFP and partners can safely provide this life-saving assistance is shrinking rapidly, putting hundreds of thousands at risk of being cut off from any form of relief.

Food stock levels in Gaza shops have dropped close to zero; wheat flour, dairy products, pulses, rice, vegetable oil, vegetables, eggs, and mineral water have run out.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Warda Essam Abu Al-Araj, Displaced Palestinian:
“Safety, to find a safe place for my children and food to feed them, life is difficult, there is nothing left in the country.”

75 percent of shops surveyed by WFP have shut down due to lack of fuel to generate electricity, running out of stocks, sustained damages due to the conflict, or their owners being displaced.

Even with some food available at wholesalers, shops cannot re-stock due to damaged roads, safety concerns and shortage of fuel.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Mohammed Al-Sabba, Displaced Palestinian:
“I personally was displaced from Gaza to the south. It impacted me and family a lot, we were used to a certain life, we could get by with our daily needs...we could get water from the tap, food, buying what we need from shops. Today, none of that exists. Now we have to go search for water and food for the family. All of this impacted us. Also, it's not safe. In any moment we can be displaced again.This has affected us and the psychological state of the children significantly.”

WFP field observations indicate a substantial increase in the prices of essential food items since the beginning of the crisis. Wheat flour prices have surged by approximately 184 percent, salt by 433 percent, and sugar by 75 percent. The current commercial stocks of wheat flour will only last for a few days.

Flour mills in Gaza have some quantities of wheat. But it needs to be milled into flour so bread can be made, the last operating mill in Gaza was hit and damaged, thus further hindering the local production of flour.

The primary challenge faced by bakeries is the shortage of fuel and gas. Without regular gas and fuel supply, all bakeries in Gaza may be forced to cease operations.

While people in Gaza continue to suffer, the West Bank is grappling with escalating violence, arrests, and movement restrictions. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are losing their work permits and are unable to leave the West Bank, while commercial activity inside is limited. This puts the economy – and the humanitarian situation - at risk of further deterioration.

During the one week of paused hostilities, WFP operations in Gaza received four times as many humanitarian trucks as in an average week of conflict, doubled the number of distribution points outside shelters, reached 50 percent more people, delivered assistance to people in areas that were hard to reach, started community-cooked hot meals, and installed storage units to facilitate delivery of aid for humanitarian partners.

WFP reached approximately 250,000 people during the pause in different ways: daily distribution of canned fava beans/date bars/ high energy biscuits to IDPs in UN shelters, food parcels for families outside shelters, fresh bread from one bakery, hot meals, and electronic voucher redemption.

WFP joined 3 inter-agency convoys delivering essential food assistance in areas that were hard to reach.
In November, WFP reached 799,000 people in Gaza with food assistance.
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