Sat 22-June-2024

UN suspends Rafah aid distribution, warns of failure of US-built pier

Wednesday 22-May-2024

GAZA, (PIC)

The UN has suspended food distribution in the southern Gaza area of Rafah due to the lack of supplies and insecurity.

In a statement, the UN announced it suspended food distribution in Rafah on Tuesday due to a lack of supplies and an untenable security situation caused by Israel’s expanding military operation.

The UN also said no aid trucks entered the coastal territory in the past two days through the floating pier set up by the US for aid deliveries, and warned that the $320m project may fail unless Israel starts providing the conditions humanitarian groups need to operate safely.

It pointed out that several hundred thousand civilians are still in Rafah after the Israeli army launched an intensified attack there on May 6.

In a related context, Abeer Etefa, a spokeswoman for the UN’s World Food Program (WFP), warned that “humanitarian operations in Gaza are near collapse”. She said that if food and other supplies do not resume entering Gaza “in massive quantities, famine-like conditions will spread.”

Etefa also said the WFP had stopped distribution in Rafah after exhausting its stocks, but it continues passing out hot meals in central Gaza and “limited distributions” of reduced food parcels in central Gaza, adding that “food parcel stocks will run out within days.”

UNRWA, for its part, announced the suspension of aid distribution in Rafah in a post on X, without elaborating beyond citing the lack of supplies.

However, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the UNRWA distribution center and the WFP’s warehouses in Rafah were “inaccessible due to ongoing military operations.”

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