The World Food Program warned of the possibility of “a crisis that spreads to the entire region” due to the “inability” of many Palestinians in Gaza to withstand more pressure.
On Monday, the program said that it provides emergency aid to more than 51,000 people in northern Gaza, and is requesting $ 46 million to continue its work in the Strip.
“People in Gaza already live on the edge of poverty, and many families do not have enough food to eat. Their conditions have worsened further due to the spread of the Coronavirus and the restrictions imposed to combat it,” said Corinne Fletcher, director of the program in the Middle East and North Africa.
She added, “Most of the people cannot bear more pressure, and the current circumstances may trigger a crisis that extends to the entire region.”
On Monday, the Israeli forces launched devastating air strikes on the Strip, and the Palestinian resistance factions responded by launching a barrage of rockets on Israeli territory.
“For those who have been destroyed by the bombing or fled their homes, the urgent need now is food,” said the regional director of the Food Program, Samer Abdul-Jabbar, in a statement, adding that “the most rapid and effective way to provide assistance is money, through electronic food cards.”
He said that many shops are still open in the Strip, but the closure of the crossings into Gaza “may quickly lead to a scarcity of goods and to an increase in prices.”
The UN agency indicated that the prices of vegetables and fruits are actually rising because farmers cannot reach their fields.
The program is supporting the organization of a humanitarian aid convoy to enter the Gaza Strip if the border closures remain.
The program continuously provides humanitarian aid to 260,000 people in need of food, directly or through various projects in Gaza. He says that 53 percent of Gazas population lives in poverty.
He requested an additional $ 31.8 million to ensure the provision of continuous food assistance to more than 453,000 people in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank in the next six months.
The program also says that it urgently needs 14 million dollars to provide emergency aid to more than 160,000 people in Gaza and 60,000 in the West Bank, in the next three months.
Health authorities in Gaza said that 40,000 people had been displaced from their homes.
Philip Lazarini, head of the United Nations Agency for the Employment of Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), announced that 40 of the Agency’s schools have been converted into shelters.
And Save the Children warned of the collapse of health institutions after the Israeli bombing destroyed energy supply lines.
The Israeli army says it takes all possible precautions to avoid civilian casualties, and accuses Hamas of deliberately placing military targets in densely populated areas.