Starvation of people and acute malnutrition of children in Gaza are preventable

Today, the UN Security Council convened a briefing on food insecurity in Gaza, requested by Slovenia, Algeria, Guyana and Switzerland. The meeting followed a white note of 22 February, sent by OCHA to Council members on food security risks in Gaza.

Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council, Ambassador Samuel Žbogar thanked the representatives of OCHA, FAO and WFP for their informative briefings and “a sobering alert for this Council.” 

He summarized the briefings and the white note stressing that Gaza has become uninhabitable. “The entire population of Gaza is facing high levels of acute food insecurity, the highest share ever classified worldwide,” he added.

Today, the people of Gaza are experiencing catastrophic levels of conflict-induced food insecurity. At least 576,000 people in Gaza that represent one-quarter of the population, is one step away from famine, many children are suffering from acute malnutrition and wasting. “The main driver of hunger in Gaza is evident. And starvation of people in Gaza and acute malnutrition of children are preventable,” highlighted the Ambassador.

Once again, he reaffirmed Slovenia’s call for full respect of international humanitarian law and human rights law, which strictly prohibit starvation as a method of warfare. All parties must respect their obligations and protect civilians.

Only an immediate and permanent ceasefire, and restoration of safe and sustained humanitarian access throughout Gaza can avert the risk of famine.

“There are times when we need to make choices and we need to prioritize. Slovenia is choosing a ceasefire to prevent famine in Gaza. A ceasefire to provide relief to Palestinian people and to release hostages,” concluded Ambassador Žbogar and called for a serious engagement of Council members on a new resolution draft.

The Ambassador also reiterated our position that UNRWA is the lifeline for Palestinian people and the backbone of humanitarian response in Gaza. For this reason, last week, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia adopted two decisions on humanitarian aid, providing 500,000 EUR in financial assistance to UNRWA and 434,105 EUR in material assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in the form of food and shelter equipment.

Read the full statement here.

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