10th child in Gaza officially registered as having starved to death: WHO

'If something doesn't change, a famine is almost inevitable on current trends,' says UN humanitarian affairs spokesperson

16:12 - 1/03/2024 Friday
File Photo
File Photo

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday said that 10 children have died of starvation in the besieged Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

“The official records, yesterday or this morning, said that there was a 10th child officially registered in a hospital as having starved to death,” WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier told a UN press briefing in Geneva.

Calling it a "very sad threshold," Lindmeier warned that the unofficial numbers can "unfortunately be expected to be higher."

Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), for his part, said that extreme scarcity of food is "almost inevitable" under the current circumstances.

"If something doesn't change, a famine is almost inevitable on the current trends. So that is where, of course, that leaves the UN very much in the picture," Laerke said, adding: "Because we are able, willing, capable to do something about that, but the conditions need to be right."

Israel has launched a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by the Palestinian group Hamas, which Tel Aviv says killed nearly 1,200 people.

At least 30,228 Palestinians have since been killed and 71,377 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

2 months ago