The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is worsening as half the population suffer from starvation and children only receive 10 percent of the water they need.
UNICEF issued a dire statement on Wednesday, revealing the alarming conditions faced by recently displaced children in the southern Gaza Strip. It said: “Recently displaced children in the southern Gaza Strip are accessing only 1.5 to 2 litres of water each day.”
The international standard for daily water consumption, which includes drinking, washing, and cooking, is 15 liters, with a minimum survival requirement of three liters.
UNICEF declared that water and sanitation services in Gaza are “at the point of collapse,” raising concerns about the impact on children.
The organization highlighted the heightened vulnerability of children to dehydration, diarrhea, disease, and malnutrition, all of which pose a serious threat to their survival.
UNICEF said: “The impact of this on children is particularly dramatic because children are also more susceptible to dehydration, diarrhea, disease and malnutrition, all of which can compound to present a threat to their survival.”
The situation is further exacerbated by the risk of waterborne diseases, such as cholera and chronic diarrhea, especially in the aftermath of recent rains and flooding.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a significant increase in cases of diarrhea among children under the age of five, reaching approximately 165,000, well above the normal rate.
UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell issued a stark warning: “Without safe water, many more children will die from deprivation and disease in the coming days.”
Despite Israel claiming to facilitate humanitarian aid initiatives in Gaza, half of the population is reportedly starving, and residents are going entire days without eating. The UN revealed that only 10 percent of the food required for Gaza has entered the strip over the past 70 days.
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Two weeks ago, the World Food Programme warned of inadequate food consumption in a significant percentage of Palestinian households.
Tens of thousands of displaced Palestinians seeking safety have added to the crisis, with many arriving in Gaza’s southernmost governorate of Rafah.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on the desperate conditions, including the absence of latrines and inadequate water and sanitation facilities in makeshift shelters.
As the humanitarian crisis intensifies, Human Rights Watch released a damning report accusing Israel of using starvation as a weapon of war in Gaza, labeling it a “war crime.” The Israeli government spokesperson instead blamed Hamas for the shortages.
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