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The United Nations' relief chief issues a warning that the humanitarian situation in Gaza may deteriorate significantly.
Middle East World News

The United Nations’ relief chief issues a warning that the humanitarian situation in Gaza may deteriorate significantly.

Over 1.5 million people in Gaza have been forced to leave their homes, 18 hospitals have closed, and hundreds of thousands are experiencing fear and ongoing Israeli attacks.

“According to Emergency Relief Coordinator and Humanitarian Affairs chief Martin Griffiths, the number of casualties is still rising, with over 11,000 people reported dead. The majority of these victims are children and women.”

He stated that the current overall number is probably significantly greater, but the data has not been revised in the last five days due to disruptions in communication systems in Gaza.

Mr. Griffiths also mentioned that in Gaza, specifically in the northern region, there is a critical shortage of food and water supplies. The shortage of fuel has also resulted in a decline in communication and essential services such as water desalination.

Free the hostages

“Israeli citizens are also suffering greatly as they grieve the tragic and cruel deaths of 1,200 people,” he stated. He emphasized the urgent need for the release of the approximately 240 hostages, ranging from infants to elderly individuals, without any conditions.

Mr. Griffiths restated the United Nations’ 10-point plan outlining the necessary criteria for an efficient humanitarian response.

He appealed to UN Member States for assistance in accomplishing these goals.

Basic needs

“We are not requesting the impossible. We are simply asking for the necessary measures to fulfill the basic needs of the civilian population and mitigate the effects of this crisis,” he emphasized.

Mr. Griffiths cautioned that despite the severe conditions in Gaza, they could potentially worsen.

He stated that if we don’t act immediately, this conflict could extend to other areas of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and potentially affect the entire region, leading to a disastrous outcome.

The goal of our work: UNRWA official’s ‘mission impossible’.

Natalie Boucly, the current Deputy Commissioner-General for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) aiding refugees in Palestine, stated that the entire Gaza Strip has been subjected to bombing.

According to her, numerous hospitals, mosques, churches, bakeries, and more than 60 UNRWA buildings and schools in Gaza have been struck.

Ms. Boucly stated that the majority of the agency’s affected locations were situated in central and southern regions. She mentioned that these were the designated areas for individuals to seek safety.

She stated that they sought refuge in UNRWA buildings under the protection of the UN flag.

The UNRWA representative emphasized that the tasks of the organization have become extremely difficult to accomplish.

The speaker stated that it is not possible to completely safeguard individuals within UN buildings and under the UN’s protection. Additionally, it is not feasible to access those who require help, including the thousands of individuals still trapped in the northern region. Moreover, there is not enough aid being provided to those who are accessible.

The fuel reserves of UNRWA are nearly exhausted, which will have significant consequences for the civilians, as well as the 13,000 employees.

In her concluding remarks, Ms. Boucly emphasized the shared responsibility of the global community to bring an end to the war.

“We must stay strong in our resolve, and I would like to reference a well-known passage: ‘to prevent future generations from experiencing the horrors of war, and to reaffirm our belief in basic human rights, in the value and importance of every individual’,” she stated, reflecting on the introductory statement in the United Nations Charter.

Families continue to find shelter in the Khan Younis camp in Gaza.

Families are still seeking refuge in the Khan Younis camp in Gaza.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has stated that the crisis is causing significant divisions and conflicts within society.

Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. (file)

UN Photo/Jean Marc Ferré

Volker Türk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. (document)

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Volker Türk, expressed significant worry about the increasing danger of conflict spilling over into the larger Middle East area if the fighting persists.

Additionally, he stressed that the current crisis is causing a global disruption to the multilateral system, leading to increased division and significant negative effects on finding necessary solutions for humanity.

He remembered the decision made by the General Assembly during its emergency special session regarding the crisis. It urged for an immediate and ongoing ceasefire to end hostilities. Additionally, the Security Council passed a resolution on Wednesday calling for urgent and prolonged humanitarian breaks and safe passages throughout the Gaza Strip.

Mr. Türk emphasized the importance of not disregarding these resolutions for both Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

“He emphasized the need for a ceasefire on the basis of humanitarian and human rights, and an end to the conflict. This is not only necessary to provide vital food and meaningful humanitarian aid, but also to allow for a way out of this terrible situation.”

The United Nations’ human rights leader cautioned against the increasing use of hateful language and spreading of false information, which is contributing to the dehumanization of individuals and hindering efforts to find a lasting political resolution.

He expressed deep worry about the possibility of more serious offenses, possibly even amounting to atrocities, due to recent statements made by certain individuals in positions of power.

The Director-General of WHO urges for an end to attacks on healthcare and the protection of patients.

The Director-General of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, reported to Member States that assessing the effectiveness of Gaza’s health system is becoming increasingly difficult.

The speaker stated that the health needs of Gaza’s population are continuously increasing and that their health system is on the verge of collapsing.

There are currently only 10 operational hospitals out of the 36 in Gaza. These hospitals have a total of 1,400 beds available. Additionally, numerous healthcare workers have been displaced and have had to leave with their families.

“According to Mr. Tedros, this translates to an increasing number of fatalities and a decreasing amount of resources such as hospital beds, medical personnel, medications, and supplies. He also noted a rise in respiratory and skin infections, as well as acute watery diarrhea caused by inadequate sanitation.”

The director of the World Health Organization urged for prompt execution of the resolution passed by the Security Council on Wednesday, and for all involved parties to adhere to it.

The speaker emphasized the need to cease attacks on healthcare and to ensure the safety of patients, health facilities, infrastructure, and workers, including aid workers.

He stated that we are still urging for a resolution to this conflict in order to avoid any more casualties among innocent civilians and destruction of medical facilities in Gaza.

The leader of UNDP reports significant financial damages.

Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator. (file)

UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Achim Steiner serves as the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The UN Development Programme’s Administrator, Achim Steiner, informed Member States that the ongoing six-week-long war has resulted in a major crisis of immense proportions.

He stated that in addition to the current humanitarian disaster, there is also a significant development crisis occurring which could have long-term effects.

The latest assessment by UNDP revealed that if the conflict persists for another month, poverty levels could increase by 34%, resulting in an additional half a million people being pushed into poverty.

He stated that if the war continued for another month, poverty would rise by almost 45%, causing over 39% of the population, totaling more than 2.1 million people, to fall below the poverty line.

He also notified the Member States about the consequences for the Palestinian economy, stating that the GDP has decreased by approximately 4.3%, resulting in a loss of more than $857 million.

The speaker stated that after three months of war, the GDP would decrease by 12.2 percent, resulting in losses of more than $2.5 billion.

According to the leader of UNDP, even if we consider a very cautious estimate, it is predicted that the conflict will cause a delay of 11 years in the development of the State of Palestine, with Gaza experiencing a setback of 17 years. In more severe scenarios, the impact on Gaza could reach up to 19 years, while the State of Palestine as a whole could suffer a delay of 16 years.

The speaker emphasized the urgency to increase actions towards ending the war, stating that each month it continues will result in significant and accumulating expenses for Palestinians both currently and in the future. This is not only a matter of humanitarian concern, but also a crucial aspect of development.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) reports a dire situation for women and girls.

Laila Baker, the UN Population Fund’s Regional Director for Arab States, highlighted the dire circumstances that women and girls in Gaza are currently facing.

Currently, around 50,000 pregnant Palestinian women are located in Gaza. On a daily basis, approximately 180 women give birth there. According to the speaker, these women are enduring terrible circumstances during their deliveries, with the most severe conditions being experienced by those with obstetric complications.

According to Ms. Baker, the health and safety of both women and their unborn babies are in danger because of extremely limited availability of healthcare and urgent obstetric care. She mentioned that as resources dwindle, women are being forced to have caesarean sections without proper pain relief, and hospitals are being targeted by military attacks.

The current circumstance is unacceptable. It is imperative that hospitals, medical personnel, and innocent individuals are never subjected to harm.

The effects on children will have long-lasting consequences, according to UNICEF.

Lana Al Wreikat, the temporary Director of Emergency Programmes at UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), emphasized the consequences of the crisis on children.

She expressed that the reported number of child fatalities is extremely troubling. The living conditions of children are deteriorating regularly, and their security and overall health are in constant danger.

She stated that the consequences of this war will have a lasting effect on a generation of children, some of whom have already been through multiple wars.

The UNICEF representative appealed for the opening of all entry points into Gaza to ensure the uninterrupted and secure transportation of necessary goods and individuals.

WFP reports that food reserves are almost exhausted.

Paul Skoczylas, Director of the New York Office for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), stated that there is a severe shortage of food in the Gaza Strip and the remaining available food is becoming increasingly expensive.

He stated that Gaza has not experienced such a drastic increase in prices, and mentioned that no goods are being brought into the area for sale.

According to the information collected from those we serve, it appears that individuals are barely getting by on just one meal per day, if they are fortunate.

The source of this information is the United Nations’ news website.