CAIRO – Thousands of civilians on Sunday morning stormed a UN-run warehouse in Gaza’s middle area, where the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is storing some food commodities. The morning’s events followed a harrowing 24-hour communication blackout and persistent access challenges that brought all WFP operations to a halt, leaving staff and partners incommunicado.
The warehouse was used to store some of the supplies from the trucks loaded with humanitarian supplies coming from Egypt ahead of distribution to displaced families. The warehouse contained some 80 tons of mixed food commodities, mainly canned food, wheat flour and sunflower oil.
“This is a sign of people losing hope and becoming more desperate by the minute. They are hungry, isolated, and have been suffering violence and immense distress for three weeks,” said Samer Abdeljaber, WFP Representative and Country Director in Palestine. “We need a humanitarian pause to be able to reach the people in need with food, water and basic necessities safely and effectively. Much more access is urgently needed, and the trickle of supplies needs to become a flow.”
Fuel shortages and loss of connectivity also threaten to bring humanitarian operations to a halt. Without additional fuel supplies, bakeries working with WFP in Gaza are no longer operational and transporters cannot deliver food where it’s needed.
WFP plans to provide food lifeline to over one million people who are going hungry now and needs a steady supply of food with at least 40 WFP trucks to cross daily into Gaza to be able to meet the escalating needs. So far emergency food and cash assistance has reached over 635,200 people in both Gaza and the West Bank.