Tue 05 Mar 2024 10:22 pm - Jerusalem Time

UNICEF warns of an “explosion of deaths” of children in Gaza due to malnutrition

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned on Tuesday of an "imminent explosion" in the number of child deaths linked to malnutrition in the Gaza Strip, explaining that death rates in the northern Gaza Strip are "three times higher" than those recorded in the south.

UNICEF spokesman James Elder said in a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva: “We are seeing deaths (due to malnutrition) that we have feared for a long time, and we see that these deaths will continue to rise.”

He added: "We will see an imminent explosion in child deaths if the worsening nutrition crisis is not resolved" in the Gaza Strip.

He explained that "malnutrition rates among children under the age of five in the north are three times higher than those in Rafah" in the south.

Regarding the restrictions imposed on the entry of aid into the Gaza Strip, a UNICEF spokesman said, “The arrival of a small amount of aid may make a difference in saving lives.”

He explained, "In addition to hunger, there is an increasing risk of the spread of infectious diseases, as nine out of every 10 children under the age of five - about 220,000 - have become ill over the past weeks."

In this context, the Director of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Monday that “civilians, especially children and health workers in the Gaza Strip, need immediate assistance.”

In a post on the “X” platform, Ghebreyesus warned of “severe levels of malnutrition and children dying of hunger” in northern Gaza.

As a result of the war and Israeli restrictions, the residents of Gaza, especially the Gaza and northern governorates, are on the verge of famine, in light of a severe scarcity of food, water, medicine and fuel supplies, with the displacement of about two million Palestinians from the Strip, which has been besieged by Israel for 17 years.

The war on the Gaza Strip left tens of thousands of civilian victims, most of them children and women, in addition to an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe and massive destruction of infrastructure, which led to Tel Aviv being brought before the International Court of Justice on charges of “genocide.”


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UNICEF warns of an “explosion of deaths” of children in Gaza due to malnutrition