Imminent famine in Gaza is entirely man-made, Islamic Relief says

(March 18th, 2024): Today’s new IPC* report on Gaza confirms what our team is seeing on the ground – people are starving to death, mass famine is imminent and more than 1 million people are now living in catastrophic food insecurity, meaning a high risk of death. 

This is an entirely man-made famine caused by Israel’s ongoing attacks and blockade and the shameful failure of world leaders to act. Palestinians are not just starving; they are being starved.  

For months aid agencies and civilians in Gaza have warned that famine is inevitable without a ceasefire and unrestricted humanitarian access. Yet the violence continues unabated and the amount of aid able to enter Gaza has decreased. Children and elderly people are starving as Israel blocks aid, uses hunger as a weapon of war, and attacks civilians as they desperately try to reach food trucks. At the same time, some international governments have cut off funding for UNRWA, the biggest UN agency on the ground.  

The IPC report shows that in many parts of northern Gaza the threshold for famine has now been passed. Almost 1 in 3 infants there are now acutely malnourished yet aid to the north is repeatedly blocked.

Deliberately depriving civilians of food and other aid is a violation of international law.  

It is now a race against time to massively increase the humanitarian response and get aid to everyone who needs it. More than 1 million lives are at stake and every minute matters. Latest initiatives such as getting a bit more aid in by sea and land are just a drop in the ocean at this stage. The only way to ensure aid reaches people in need in sufficient quantity is for world leaders to demand an immediate ceasefire and an end to Israel’s blockade. 

*The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) provides leading evidence-based analysis on food insecurity and malnutrition to inform emergency responses around the world.