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over half a million Gazans are experiencing severe hunger: WFP chief

RAFAH, Gaza Strip: The UN released a report revealing that over 500,000 individuals in Gaza are experiencing severe hunger due to insufficient food supplies entering the region in the last 10 weeks of conflict.

Arif Husain, the chief economist of the World Food Program, described the situation as widespread hunger affecting nearly everyone in Gaza.

He issued a warning that unless the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas persists at its current intensity and food deliveries are not reinstated, the population may confront a full-scale famine within the next six months.

The report, jointly released by 23 UN and non-governmental organizations, disclosed that the entire Gaza population is grappling with a food crisis, with 576,600 people facing catastrophic levels of starvation.

UN relief workers reported distressing scenes in two northern Gaza hospitals, where bedridden patients with untreated wounds pleaded for water, medical staff faced shortages, and bodies accumulated in the courtyard—indicating a deepening humanitarian crisis after 10 weeks of hostilities between Israel and Hamas.

Despite ongoing bombardment and fighting on Thursday, the absence of internet and communication in Gaza hindered the confirmation of the latest violence details. Israel claimed to be in the final stages of clearing out Hamas militants from northern Gaza, anticipating prolonged confrontations in the south.

The conflict, triggered by Hamas’ deadly actions on October 7, has resulted in the death of nearly 20,000 Palestinians, displacing over 80% of Gaza’s population—approximately 1.9 million people.

With the majority of supplies to Gaza severed, the World Food Program reported that 90% of the population regularly goes without food for an entire day.

A morning blast on Thursday at the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing forced the UN to halt aid pickups, leading to at least four reported deaths, according to UNRWA spokesperson Juliette Touma. Although Palestinian authorities attributed the blast to Israel, its cause could not be immediately verified.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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