WASHINGTON: The humanitarian aid network providing critical life-saving services to people in the besieged Gaza Strip is at risk of failure, which risks “unimaginable consequences” for Gaza’s over 2 million people, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday.
“The humanitarian system in Gaza is facing a total collapse with unimaginable consequences for more than 2 million civilians. As the bombing intensifies, needs are growing ever more critical and colossal,“ Anadolu Agency citing Guterres said in a statement.
“Given the desperate and dramatic situation, the United Nations will not be able to continue to deliver inside Gaza without an immediate and fundamental shift in how aid is going in,“ he added.
Prior to the conflict, about 500 trucks carrying humanitarian assistance entered Gaza daily. Now an average of just 12 trucks are entering the coastal enclave per day, according to the UN.
“Misery is growing by the minute. Without a fundamental change, the people of Gaza will face an unprecedented avalanche of human suffering. Everyone must assume their responsibilities. This is a moment of truth. History is judging us all,“ said Guterres.
The UNRWA, the UN’s Palestine refugee agency, confirmed earlier Friday that 53 of its staffers have been killed in Gaza since Oct 7. The death toll marks a dramatic escalation from figures put out by the agency only Thursday, when it said 39 of its staff and personnel had been killed, according to Anadolu Agency.
“These people dedicated their lives to their communities. One colleague died collecting bread. He leaves behind 6 children,“ the agency said on X. “We are beyond devastated, as this unspeakable suffering continues.”
The UNRWA also warned it risks being unable to continue its humanitarian assistance unless fuel shipments opposed by Israel are allowed to enter Gaza, with existing stocks near complete exhaustion.
Fuel is critical to running desalination plants and pumping stations for Gaza’s water supplies, operating bakeries, and ensuring the lights remain on in the occupied territory’s over-burdened hospitals, where the injured are receiving treatment and the displaced continue to take shelter.
Israeli relentless bombing campaign since Oct 7 has killed over 7,000 Palestinians, including more than 3,000 children, according to data from the enclave’s Health Ministry. – Bernama.