The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification report on February 8 warned that there will be a rise in “deaths caused by hunger, malnutrition, and related diseases”.
Qatar and the World Food Programme director discussed the latest humanitarian situation in Gaza on Saturday as global organisations raise the alarm over the possible rise of deaths caused by hunger amid Israel’s ongoing war.
The discussions took place in Doha between Qatar’s Minister of State for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lolwah Al Khater and the WFP’s Executive Director, Cindy McCain.
“The meeting discussed the strategic partnership between the State of Qatar and the World Food Program, the latest developments in the Gaza Strip and the occupied Palestinian territories, and the strengthening of cooperation in Yemen, Sudan and Afghanistan,” Qatar’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The Gulf state has been working on addressing the dire humanitarian catastrophe on the ground in Gaza under Israel’s genocidal war coupled with the complete blockade that has cut off the population from basic resources and vital aid.
Qatar sent at least 76 flights carrying 2,266 tonnes of aid to Egypt’s El Arish, where aid is being collected before being delivered to Gaza via the Rafah Crossing, the Gulf state’s foreign ministry said in a statement on February 8.
On December 3, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani launched an initiative to sponsor 3,000 orphans and treat 1,500 injured Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Qatar evacuated the 15th batch on Friday, though local authorities did not mention the total number of those receiving treatment in Doha.
Qatar also evacuated Palestinians with Qatari residency permits.
The war on Gaza has entered its fifth month, killing more than 28,000 people while wounding 67,611 others, out of which 11,000 are in need of medical evacuation.
Gaza’s health sector has collapsed due to the non-stop targeting of medical facilities and the absence of adequate medicine and tools for treatment. Only 13 out of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are partially functional and are operating beyond their capacity, according to the United Nations’ latest flash update.
Israeli occupation forces raided the Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis on Friday after besieging the building since January. The Palestinian Red Crescent said the raid lasted “for approximately ten hours,” damaging equipment while interrogating and beating those inside the building.
Israeli forces also prevented those at the hospital from drinking water and using the restrooms.
The PRCS confirmed that occupation forces detained eight of its members at the hospital, including four doctors, four wounded Palestinians, and five of the patients’ companions.
The Nasser medical complex has also been under siege since last month as part of Israel’s intensified attacks on Khan Younis that have forced more Palestinians to flee to densely-populated Rafah.
Rafah is the last remaining area in the besieged enclave where 1.3 million displaced people have been sheltering after they evacuated from northern and central Gaza.
Israel has vowed to expand its ground invasion to Rafah, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordering the Israeli military “to submit to the Cabinet a combined plan for evacuating the population and destroying the battalions”.
The Israeli plans have sparked outrage among the international community including countries currently mediating a possible ceasefire in Gaza, namely Qatar and Egypt.
Qatar condemned Israel’s threats to invade Rafah on Saturday while urging the UN Security Council to prevent Israel from “committing genocide.”
“Qatar condemns in the strongest terms the Israeli threats to storm the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, and warns of a humanitarian catastrophe in the city that has become a last refuge for hundreds of thousands of displaced people inside the besieged Strip,” the Qatari foreign ministry said in a statement read.
Gaza’s population is already grappling with a dire humanitarian crisis with the 2.2 million population completely cut off from aid and basic resources.
The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification report on February 8 warned that there will be a rise in “deaths caused by hunger, malnutrition, and related diseases.”
The WFP chief had also described Gaza as “unrecognisable and slipping deeper into despair.”