Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner general of UNRWA, has announced that about 17,000 children have been separated from their parents, adding that swathes of Gaza’s population are suffering from malnutrition.
The enclave has been heavily destroyed due to constant Israeli bombardments in response to the October 7 attack by Hamas.
Speaking with reporters on the condition of the territory, Lazzarini said, “We talk about famine in the north, where we have 300,000 people and we haven’t been able to organise a convoy since 23 January,”
“At the same time, because of the pressure and the military offensive taking place, it’s becoming more and more difficult to operate in Rafah itself.”
He stressed that UNRWA trucks have been plundered and vandalised there in recent days.
“The coming days will tell us if we will be able to continue operating.”
In another development, EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has urged against suspending funding for the UN agency for Palestine UNRWA.
The call for the suspension of funding follows an allegation by Israel that some UNRWA staff participated in the 7 October attacks.
He said cutting support to UNRWA would “mean a greater humanitarian disaster in Gaza and “it should be avoided”, he says.