Health Care In Gaza Under Siege As People Near Starvation

Published: Wed 12 Jun 2024 10:28 AM
Over 1 million people in the Gaza Strip might face starvation by mid-July, according to new reports by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification. The nutritional status of Gaza’s population continues to deteriorate, with children being among the hardest hit: nine out of ten children are currently surviving on two or fewer food groups per day.
A full-fledged famine has not yet been declared, but several health and nutrition experts have warned that people in Gaza are already dying of hunger. “Once a famine is declared, it is too late—many people will have already starved to death,” said Cindy McCain, World Food Program Executive Director.
Health care in Gaza continues to suffer daily attacks by the Israeli Occupying Forces. Most hospitals in southern Gaza have been put out of operation since Israeli forces increased attacks in the region. The only two hospitals still able to function in Rafah, the ICRC Field Hospital and the UAE Field Hospital, are increasingly difficult to reach.
To the north, the remaining hospitals are struggling to care for hundreds of victims of Israel’s attacks on refugee camps, schools, and residential areas. In the first week of June, Al-Aqsa Hospital was barely coping with the influx of casualties.
The pressure on hospitals is unlikely to decrease as attacks continue and medical evacuations remain blocked. Between May 7 and June 7, there were no health-related evacuations from the Gaza Strip. Before May 7, less than 50 percent of the evacuation requests were approved, and only 38 percent of those approved actually took place. The others were not carried out due to security concerns, leaving at least 14,000 people in need of medical evacuation, according to the World Health Organization.

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