Gaza's entire population facing acute food insecurity, Blinken warns

March 20, 2024 10:00 am

[Source: BBC]

Gaza’s two million people are experiencing “severe levels of acute food insecurity”, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said.

This was first time an entire population had been so classified, he said when questioned by the BBC about conditions in the territory.

Mr Blinken called on Israel to prioritise providing for those in need.

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UN agencies have said north Gaza could face famine by May without a pause in the fighting and a surge in aid.

Mr Blinken’s warning came during a trip to the Philippines as US officials announced that he would travel to the Middle East, his sixth trip to the region since October, as efforts to secure a ceasefire continue.

Israeli negotiators are due to begin talks in Qatar on Tuesday in a fresh attempt to agree a deal with Hamas to halt the fighting, get humanitarian aid in, and Israeli hostages out.

The US is Israel’s closest ally and biggest provider of military aid.

Mr Blinken’s comments were among his strongest yet in setting out the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Asked by the BBC whether the current conditions were a harbinger of the territory’s future without an agreed governance or security plan, he said: “According to the most respected measure of these things, 100% of the population in Gaza is at severe levels of acute food insecurity. That’s the first time an entire population has been so classified.”