300,000 At Risk From Lack Of Food In North, Central Gaza: UN

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

Hundreds of thousands of people's lives are at risk in north and central Gaza because of a lack of food, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) warned on Thursday.

UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said the last time the agency was allowed to deliver supplies to the area was more than two weeks ago on January 23.

Other agencies providing humanitarian aid also reported blocks on getting relief into the Palestinian territory, which has been bombarded by Israel since Hamas's deadly attack on October 7.

"Since the beginning of the year, half of our aid mission requests to the north were denied," Lazzarini wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

"The @UN has identified deep pockets of starvation and hunger in northern #Gaza where people are believed to be on the verge of famine.

"At least 300,000 people living in the area depend on our assistance for their survival."

Israel, which has laid siege to the tiny, densely populated territory, ordered people living in north and central Gaza to move south as it goes after those responsible for the October 7 attack.

More than half of Gaza's estimated 2.4 million people are now crowded into the city of Rafah in the south, where Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered troops to prepare to attack.

Thomas White, director of UNRWA affairs in Gaza, said there was now "enormous concern" about a looming offensive in Rafah, where the agency bases its operation for the whole of the Gaza Strip.

"It's going to be very difficult to manage an aid operation if we have to move from Rafah. We are struggling to meet the demands of the people right now," he told Al Jazeera English.

"If there are hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people on the move again, we just do not have the resources to support them but also operationally we will not be able to effectively or safely run operations from a city that's under assault from the Israeli army."_AFP

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