Tue 9-July-2024

UN official: What I have seen defies description

Friday 21-June-2024

GAZA, (PIC)

After nearly nine months of the war that started on Oct. 7, 2023, the Gaza population has been almost entirely dispossessed of the means to ensure food security, shelter, health, and livelihood, a UN official told journalists on Friday.

Maryse Guimond, from the Palestine office of the UN Women, spoke at a UN news conference after completing a one-week mission inside Gaza.

“What I have seen defies description,” said Guimond. “The moment you enter at the Kerem Shalom (Karem Abu Salem) crossing, and the fence closes behind you, you feel locked into a world of devastation.

“Homes, hospitals, schools, universities, daycare centers have been demolished. As you move toward the middle area, you see crowds of people — men, women, and children — in makeshift tents, trapped in a world of scarcity.”

She said that more than 1 million people in Gaza are in constant displacement, and nowhere is safe for women and girls in Gaza, many of whom have already been displaced multiple times.

Guimond said people are moving to any available open space, including roads, agricultural land, and damaged buildings, as they are displaced into increasingly smaller areas that are unable and unequipped to support them.

“After nearly nine months of war, the population has been almost entirely dispossessed of the means and capacities to ensure food security, shelter, health, and livelihood,” she explained.

“Women were asking me, ‘When can we go back to our homes?’ Each displacement has brought more loss and fear,” said Guimond, noting that “Gaza is more than two million stories of loss.”

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