Gaza Crisis Predictions Coming True: UN Official

Gaza Crisis Predictions Coming True: UN Official

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The UN's undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs, Martin Griffiths, underscored that the harrowing forecasts of a Gaza crisis are unfolding as feared, signaling grave consequences ahead.

Griffiths said all predictions about the catastrophic consequences of an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah are “coming true”.

In a post on social media, Griffiths, who has long warned of the fallout should Rafah’s population of displaced people face an Israeli military onslaught, said there is “almost no food left and humanitarian efforts are stuck.”

“The world has lost its way and needs to return to the norms we created,” he said. In an interview with Reuters, Griffiths said famine in Gaza was an “immediate, clear and present danger”. “Facts on the ground tell us we don’t need to be scientists to see the consequence of the removal of food,” he said.

Alexandra Saieh, head of humanitarian policy and advocacy at Save the Children International, said the official number of children who have died of malnutrition amid a growing famine in Gaza likely under-represents the true scale of the tragedy. “Back in March, the UN warned that famine was looming in Gaza. Over the last couple of months, we have not seen aid agencies granted humanitarian access to stave off that famine,” Saieh told Al Jazeera.

“We’ve seen at least 28 children die of malnutrition and disease, and we know that is probably the tip of the iceberg. These are the children that managed to get to medical facilities,” Saieh said. “The hospital system in Gaza has all but collapsed. We have pediatricians in field hospitals in Gaza who said that they are seeing cases of malnutrition. They are seeing hepatitis, jaundice, gastroenteritis. These are horrific challenges facing children. And we just do not have supplies or enough personnel to deal with this.”

The newly operational dock on Gaza’s coast offers a valuable alternative route for aid, but reopening land routes remains crucial to meet the humanitarian needs in the Palestinian enclave, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stated.

“Efforts to create a sea corridor will help mitigate the severity of the conflict on people. However, it isn’t a substitute for the land transportation, [which is] the most efficient and reliable way,” said Hisham Muhanna, ICRC spokesman.

Officials announced that the US-built pier was anchored on Thursday, with President Biden noting that the first humanitarian shipments passed through on Friday. Biden added that the dock would be used to deliver “170 metric tonnes of nutrient-rich food bars” to support 11,000 people.

White House adviser John Kirby told Al Jazeera that the US military’s floating pier in Gaza transferred about 300 pallets of food on its first day in operation. Kirby added that the US hopes to “triple” that quantity in the coming days but cautioned that the pier is not a fix-all, emphasizing the urgent need for land crossings for aid.

Reports confirmed that approximately 90 trucks filled with humanitarian aid were loaded at the temporary pier at Gaza City’s shore yesterday. These trucks made their way to UNRWA warehouses in Deir el-Balah, prioritizing evacuation centers in central Gaza, including Deir el-Balah, Khan Younis, the al-Mawasi evacuation zone, and operational hospitals. Reaching hospitals in Rafah will require high-level coordination, as Israel’s military continues to pound the city.

The aid delivery is seen as an important step, likely to relieve some of the widespread suffering. However, it should not replace all the land crossings, which are better equipped and more efficient. Ninety trucks a day are not nearly enough to meet the needs of displaced Palestinians.

More than 630,000 people have now fled Israel’s advance on southern Rafah with another 100,000 escaping from the ground assault on the north. At least 35,303 people have been killed and 79,261 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7.

Most Visited in World
Top World stories
Top Stories