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Up to 10,000 Gaza Children Face Life-Threatening Malnutrition

“Preventing Famine and Deadly Disease Outbreak in Gaza Requires Faster, Safer Aid Access and More Supply Routes” is the title of the latest report from the World Health Organization on the threat in Gaza even more dangerous than the 24,000 already killed by bombs and bullets. We present here some selected excerpts from WHO’s Jan. 15 report.

“The conflict has also damaged or destroyed essential water, sanitation and health infrastructure and services and limited capacity to treat severe malnutrition and infectious disease outbreaks. With Gaza’s 335,000 children under 5 years of age especially vulnerable, UNICEF projects that, in the next few weeks, child wasting, the most life-threatening form of malnutrition in children, could increase from pre-crisis conditions by nearly 30%, affecting up to 10,000 children.

“‘Children at high risk of dying from malnutrition and disease desperately need medical treatment, clean water and sanitation services, but the conditions on the ground do not allow us to safely reach children and families in need,’ said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell. ‘Some of the material we desperately need to repair and increase water supply remain restricted from entering Gaza. The lives of children and their families are hanging in the balance. Every minute counts.’...

“‘People in Gaza are suffering from a lack of food, water, medicines and adequate healthcare. Famine will make an already terrible situation catastrophic because sick people are more likely to succumb to starvation and starving people are more vulnerable to disease,’ said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. ‘We need unimpeded, safe access to deliver aid and a humanitarian ceasefire to prevent further death and suffering.’

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