Global Agriculture

FAO considers all the civilian population in Gaza to be food insecure: Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General

11 November 2023, Rome: FAO is mobilizing vital agriculture supplies for transport to Gaza once access and resources are made available. In addition, FAO will support agrifood sector assessments on the ground as soon as conditions allow.

In a statement released by FAO, Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General said, “I am profoundly distressed by the loss of lives and the human catastrophe unfolding due to the violence taking place in the Middle East, and most particularly in Gaza.”

He mentioned, “I join the Secretary-General, and my colleagues in the IASC in calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to ease civilian suffering and to facilitate delivery of urgent assistance at scale. All parties must respect their obligations under the international humanitarian and human rights law and protect civilians. An immediate ceasefire and peace are a prerequisite for food security, and the Right to Food is a basic human right.”

The escalation of hostilities in Israel and Palestine is drastically affecting all dimensions of food security. Even before the escalation, close to 60 percent of households in Gaza were considered food insecure or vulnerable to food insecurity.  Agricultural and agrifood activities in Gaza have largely collapsed since the onset of the current hostilities and the interruption of water, food, and fuel supply. Fisheries and livestock activities, and production of fresh fruits and vegetables have come to a standstill reducing access to critical sources of protein and nutritious foods, as well as key sources of employment and livelihoods.

At this point, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) considers all the civilian population in Gaza to be food insecure.

In accordance with its mandate and in coordination with their humanitarian partners, FAO said that they are fully committed to addressing the pressing humanitarian needs of the population in the Gaza Strip and additional needs emerging in the West Bank to safeguard and restore agriculture-based livelihoods. They are following the situation with great concern and continue to mobilize technical expertise to support the people of Palestine, including through our co-leadership of the Food Security Cluster.

Also Read: Hidden costs of global agrifood systems worth at least $10 trillion

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