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News > Palestine

Gaza is Experiencing the World's Largest Food Catastrophe

  • Palestinian children seek food from international cooperation, 2024.

    Palestinian children seek food from international cooperation, 2024. | Photo: X/ @PerusalPolitics

Published 24 April 2024

Half of the Gazan population, around 1.1 million people, are going through a "famine catastrophe."

On Wednesday, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released the annual report of the Global Network Against Food Crises (GNAFC), which shows that Gaza is the scene of the greatest food catastrophe on the planet in the last two decades.


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"The Gaza Strip has the largest number of people experiencing catastrophic hunger ever recorded by the Global Report on Food Crises, even as aid trucks are lined up at the border," warned UN Secretary Antonio Guterres.

Since the beginning of the Israeli offensive against Gaza in October 2023, Palestinians have been experiencing a humanitarian catastrophe that has placed their territory at the highest level of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), a 5-scale system used by international organizations to measure acute food insecurity.

Half of the Gazan population, around 1.1 million people, are at the highest level of the IPC classification, defined as "famine catastrophe."

The GNAFC report also showed that over 281 million people suffered from acute food insecurity in 59 countries during 2023. 

Other nations experiencing major food crises include Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and Yemen.

Conflicts, insecurity, extreme weather events, and economic disruptions have worsened the situation in 12 countries, including Colombia, Ivory Coast, and Senegal, which were included in the FAO report for the first time.

Additionally, in 19 out of 36 countries experiencing prolonged food crises, 80 percent of the population is affected by food shortages, according to the GNAFC.

"This crisis demands an urgent response. It will be essential to use the data from this report to transform food systems and address the underlying causes of food insecurity and malnutrition," emphasized Guterres.

For the year 2024, the GNAFC report highlights that conflicts and insecurity in Gaza, Sudan, and Haiti will continue to be the main drivers of acute food insecurity. The climatic phenomenon El Niño will also worsen the situation globally.

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