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IPC Report on Starvation and Famine in Gaza Concludes War Must Stop

The IPC’s Famine Review Committee latest, June 25 report on starvation in Gaza found a “high and sustained risk of Famine across the whole Gaza Strip,” calling the situation “catastrophic.” (The IPC classifications are the “Integrated Food Security Phase Classification,” connected to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.) “It is important to note that the probable improvement in nutrition status noted in April and

May should not allow room for complacency about the risk of Famine in the coming weeks and months. The prolonged nature of the crisis means that this risk remains at least as high as at any time during the past few months,” since their previous report of March 18, “seems to have delayed full-blown famine and death.” The March 18 report, based upon levels of aid into Gaza, had projected a full-blown famine by July.

Moreover, the report found that “Children under five continue showing extremely critical levels of morbidity. In the middle and southern governorates in April and first week of May 91% of children under 5 experienced one or more diseases in the two weeks prior to the survey: 62% had experienced diarrhea and fever, 38% had had vomiting episodes, and 15% had acute respiratory infections. In the northern governorates, 85% of children under 5 had one or more diseases in the 2 preceding weeks, and of these, 53% had experienced fever within the past two weeks, 51% had experienced diarrhea, and 35% experienced vomiting.” It also reported growing levels of jaundice among these children, probably related to hepatitis A infection.

The Times of Israel headline coverage of the IPC report was rather deceptive, putting out a lying headline that: “Key Food Security Org Finds No Famine in Gaza, Says Previous Assumptions Wrong.” The daily’s coverage noted: “In particular, the study found no evidence that deaths from starvation reached famine levels, but did not provide any data about how many such deaths there may have been.”

While the IPC did update its report to account for higher levels of aid getting to northern Gaza, it wasn’t an “assumption” that, as of March, Israel had pushed northern Gaza to starvation. So, in reality, a very modest increase in aid during April has modestly pushed back the onset of a full famine.

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