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1 in 6 Children Under 2 in Northern Gaza Suffer from Acute Malnutrition, says WHO

UN Official Highlights Severe Malnutrition Crisis in Gaza

During the weekly press conference of the UN Geneva Office, Peeperkorn spoke out about the dire situation in Gaza, particularly the severe malnutrition crisis affecting children in the region.

He mentioned that WHO was finally able to access the Shifa Hospital in the north of Gaza on March 1 after a long period of restricted access. The organization delivered crucial supplies such as fuel, life-saving materials for 150 patients, and treatment supplies for 50 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Peeperkorn also highlighted the lack of adequate healthcare facilities in Gaza, with only 12 hospitals able to provide partial services while 23 remain closed. More than 8,000 people are in urgent need of treatment outside of Gaza, but only a small fraction were able to receive medical attention between October and February.

The devastating consequences of malnutrition were tragically evident, with 16 children succumbing to hunger in Gaza. Nutritional screenings revealed alarming statistics, showing that 1 in every 6 children under the age of 2 in the north of Gaza is acutely malnourished. Similarly, in Rafah in the south of Gaza, 5 percent of children under 2 were found to be severely malnourished.

UNICEF Spokesperson James Elder expressed grave concern over the increasing number of child deaths in Gaza due to hunger, stating that these tragedies were anticipated but still heartbreaking. As of March 4, health authorities in Gaza reported that the number of children who died from malnutrition has reached 16.

The international community is called upon to take urgent action to address the escalating malnutrition crisis in Gaza and prevent further loss of innocent lives.

 

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