After 100 days of conflict in the Israel-Hamas war, the entire population of Gaza faces a growing risk of famine, says Caritas Australia.
Since the conflict began, more than 23,000 Palestinians and 1200 Israelis have been killed, with over two-thirds of the casualties being women and children. At least 70 per cent of all housing in Gaza has been damaged or destroyed and only 13 of its 36 hospitals remain partially functioning. The Gaza Strip also remains under an electricity blackout.
In the West Bank, thousands of people have lost their jobs or had work permits go unrenewed, with those who used to work in Israel also losing income sources as they can no longer cross checkpoints.
Caritas Australia said its partner agencies are continuing to work on increasing their operational capacity, which includes establishing a new office in Rafah with an adjacent warehouse.
Its partners are also working with an existing network of supermarkets to distribute supplies from Rafah and Deir el-Balah. Work is also being undertaken with the World Food Program, leading to the distribution of 3380 food parcels to families.
“Food deprivation in Gaza has reached extreme levels with the entire population at imminent risk of famine,” said Sally Thomas, humanitarian emergencies lead at Caritas Australia.
“Residents are also enduring a lack of access to medical care, safe shelter, and clean water. Meanwhile those in Jerusalem and the West Bank are under increasingly dire economic stress due to widespread loss of income, leaving families struggling to cover the cost of basic needs such as food and medicine.”
Ms Thomas said the “need across the region is extensive, with the ongoing compassion and support of the international community set to become increasingly essential as conflict displaces people in other areas of the Middle East.”
To support Caritas Australia’s Gaza Appeal, visit www.caritas.org.au/gaza.
Caritas Australia responds to Gaza famine warning as conflict reaches 100 days (Caritas Australia)
Penny Wong pledges $21.5 million to Gaza (Herald Sun)