Although temporary opening of Karni brought minimal supplies to markets, the population does not have enough money left to pay for food. Prices are increasing rapidly and this, combined with dwindling household incomes and a dire conflict-related economic collapse, means that people are having to survive on less food and of inferior quality.
“Fishermen's boats stay in harbors, Palestinians working in Israel cannot cross checkpoints, people employed by the Palestinian Authority have not received their salary for months, traders have nothing to trade with and construction has halted due to lack of materials. Therefore people cannot buy enough food and, in turn, supplies cannot be stored," says Hosam Almadhoun, Action Against Hunger's Head of Base in Gaza.
Frederic Roberts, in charge of Action Against Hunger's programs in the Palestinian Territories, comments: "The situation is absurd–there are vegetables in the markets, rotting in the sun because they cannot be exported and people cannot buy them."
According to data from UNICEF, 70% of the population no longer consumes the necessary quantity of daily nutrients and access to water is difficult. According to Pablo Alcade, Action Against Hunger's emergency coordinator, areas close to the Israeli border are most affected: "We have come across water networks and irrigated land that were completely destroyed in an area where humanitarian access is difficult and from where many Palestinians are fleeing to take refuge in schools." Action Against Hunger's water and sanitation programs will directly focus on assisting this population in the north and northeastern of the Gaza Strip.
Action Against Hunger is also carrying out an assessment in the South of Lebanon to implement an emergency program.
PRESS CALL: The Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA) is organizing a press conference in Jerusalem on 27th July, to draw attention to the humanitarian situation. Action Against Hunger will be there.
PLACE: Hotel Ambassador (Jerusalem)–TIME: 13:00 (local time).