Gaza: Fewer than 1 in 4 aid missions given green light, says OCHA


The Israeli authorities have continued to block lifesaving aid from reaching northern Gaza 102 days since Hamas-led terror attacks triggered the war, UN humanitarians have insisted, just as UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that “the long shadow of starvation” stalks the people of Gaza.

“In the first two weeks of January, only 24 per cent - seven out of 29 – of planned missions to deliver food, medicine, water and other lifesaving supplies successfully reached their destinations north of Wadi Gaza,” said the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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Echoing those concerns and highlighting the dire situation everywhere in the enclave, OCHA worker Olga Cherevko said that conditions were awful for displaced people in the south of Gaza, too.

“Some people have not eaten in days,” she said on Tuesday in a video posted on X, formerly Twitter. “The children have no winter clothes. There’s no medical care. […] The extent of needs is enormous.”

Fuel, medicines refused

In its latest update on the war issued on Sunday evening, OCHA noted that most of the Israeli denials involved fuel and medicines allocated for reservoirs, water wells and health facilities north of Wadi Gaza.

Lack of fuel for water, sanitation and hygiene increases risks of health and environmental hazards. Lack of medicine debilitated the functionality of the six partially functioning hospitals,” OCHA noted, as it highlighted “intense Israeli air, land and sea bombardments, ground operations and fighting with Palestinian armed groups continued across much of the Gaza Strip, alongside the firing of rockets by Palestinian armed groups into Israel”.

Meanwhile, the UN health agency WHO reported that Nasser Medical Complex in the southern city of Khan Younis “continues to receive high volume of trauma and burn cases”.  


The hospital has 700 patients which is double its normal capacity while the ICU and burns unit “are severely understaffed, delaying lifesaving treatment”.

The development followed a ceasefire appeal to all parties issued late on Monday by UN chief Mr. Guterres. He also called for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages taken during the 7 October terror attacks and the thorough investigation of all allegations of sexual violence against Palestinian militants.

We can’t effectively deliver humanitarian aid while Gaza is under heavy, widespread and unrelenting bombardment,” Mr. Guterres said, as he expressed deep concern about the “wholesale destruction” and levels of civilian casualties that were “unprecedented” during his time as Secretary-General.

“While there have been some steps to increase the flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, life-saving relief is not getting to people who have endured months of relentless assault at anywhere near the scale needed”, he continued. 

“The long shadow of starvation is stalking the people of Gaza – along with disease, malnutrition and other health threats.”

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