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UN warns about 'increased risk' of malnutrition in Gaza

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published February 07,2024
A Palestinian boy holds a can with cooked food received from a charity kitchen amid shortages of food supplies, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, February 5, 2024. (REUTERS Photo)

A UN official warned Wednesday about the "increased risk" of malnutrition in the Gaza Strip due to the conflict that has raged since Oct. 7.

"Four months since the escalation of hostilities, OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) is warning that in Gaza, severe food shortages, a breakdown in health services, and inadequate facilities for water, sanitation and hygiene are putting children under the age of 5, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women, at increased risk of malnutrition," spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

Dujarric said last week that UN humanitarian partners distributed supplementary nutrition assistance to nearly 42,000 children under 5, as well as almost 4,000 pregnant and lactating women.

"A new screening by our humanitarian partners indicates a sharp rise in acute malnutrition, with a 12-fold increase compared to the rate recorded before the hostilities," he said.

Israel has launched a deadly offensive in the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, killing at least 27,708 Palestinians and injuring 67,174 others, while nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli offensive has left 85% of Gaza's population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.