A report from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), supported by the United Nations, has raised alarms about the escalating risk of famine in Gaza, exacerbated by ongoing hostilities. The report, released on Thursday, provides a stark assessment of the situation in the war-torn enclave.
It states, "though acute malnutrition and non-trauma-related mortality have not crossed famine thresholds yet, these are typically the outcomes of prolonged and extreme food consumption gaps."The IPC attributes the increasing risk of famine to several factors.
"The intensification of the hostilities, further reduction in access to food, basic services, and lifesaving assistance, and the extreme concentration or isolation of people in inadequate shelters or areas without basic services are major factors that contribute to increasing this risk,” the report explains.
Gaza's Desperate Food Situation
The report paints a grim picture of daily life in Gaza, where meal skipping has become the norm.
"Virtually all households in Gaza are skipping meals," the IPC report reveals, with a staggering "four in five northern households and about half the displaced households in the south going entire days without eating."The severity of the situation is further emphasized by the sacrifices made by adults in order to feed children.
“Many adults go hungry so children can eat,” the report notes, highlighting the urgent need for restored humanitarian access to facilitate rapid delivery of life-saving aid.Currently, the entire population of Gaza is classified in a state of crisis (IPC Phase 3).
According to the IPC, this crisis represents a historic level of food insecurity. “This is the highest share of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity that the IPC initiative has ever classified for any given area or country,” the report states.Alarmingly, at least 79% of Gaza’s population is classified as being in a state of emergency (IPC Phase 4) or catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). This means that over half a million people are experiencing conditions of catastrophic acute food insecurity, characterized by extreme food shortages, alarming rates of acute malnutrition in children under 5, and a notable rise in mortality rates.