Despite the end of an Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip, the humanitarian situation there remains dire, says the representative of the World Food Programme (WFP) in the occupied Palestinian territory.
“There is a misconception that because there is a period of calm, we can start thinking about a development process, which is very difficult to do when they are under occupation,” Pablo Recalde said at a press conference in Dubai on 9 December.
“This latest operation has brought back to [people’s consciousness] that we need to be ready and we need to maintain assistance,” he told IRIN separately. “These kinds of flare-ups of violence… are now systemic. Up until there is a permanent solution to the problem of the Palestinian people, you will have these ups and downs.”
While around 1,000 families lost their homes during eight days of air strikes on Gaza in November, Recalde said there had been no major decrease in food security in Gaza. Even in normal times, 40 percent of Gazans do not have regular access to food and are dependent on aid to survive, he said. Entrance to and exit from Gaza - for its 1.6 million inhabitants, as well as for trade and aid - are controlled by neighbours Egypt and Israel.
WFP requires US$2 million a month for its food programmes in Gaza; but its funding has dropped by around one-third since last year.
Help make quality journalism about crises possible
The New Humanitarian is an independent, non-profit newsroom founded in 1995. We deliver quality, reliable journalism about crises and big issues impacting the world today. Our reporting on humanitarian aid has uncovered sex scandals, scams, data breaches, corruption, and much more.
Our readers trust us to hold power in the multi-billion-dollar aid sector accountable and to amplify the voices of those impacted by crises. We’re on the ground, reporting from the front lines, to bring you the inside story.
We keep our journalism free – no paywalls – thanks to the support of donors and readers like you who believe we need more independent journalism in the world. Your contribution means we can continue delivering award-winning journalism about crises. Become a member of The New Humanitarian today.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions