War in Gaza, Iacomini (Unicef): “1 in 6 children under 2 years old suffers from acute malnutrition”

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War in Gaza, Iacomini (Unicef): “1 in 6 children under 2 years old suffers from acute malnutrition”

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Fanpage.it's interview with Andrea Iacomini, Unicef Italia spokesperson: “The humanitarian situation throughout the Gaza Strip is catastrophic. In the North, 1 in 6 children under 2 years of age suffer from acute malnutrition and 3% suffer from severe acute malnutrition. Everything is missing: from food to drinking water, risk of hepatitis and cholera epidemic.”

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Interview with Andrea Iacomini

Unicef Italia spokesperson.

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“The humanitarian situation throughout the Gaza Strip is catastrophic. Among the most serious problems is that of malnutrition : in the northern area 3% of minors suffer from severe acute malnutrition and 64% of families consume only one meal a day day. In this way the number of children who risk dying in a foreseeable way grows and adds to those who have already died for other reasons”.

Thus Andrea Iacomini, spokesperson for Unicef Italia, commented to Fanpage.it on the disastrous situation throughout the Gaza Strip, where the war continues after the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October. Who underlined that “everything is missing: food , water, sanitation kits, with catastrophic consequences not only for today's children but also for future generations “.

Andrea Iacomini (Facebook).

Andrea Iacomini (Facebook).

Iacomini, what is happening in the Gaza Strip?

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“The numbers are those we know. I would say that at the moment the situation is particularly serious from the point of view of malnutrition throughout the Strip. It is a topic we have been talking about for some time but in recent weeks the cases have increased in the Northern part, where 1 every 6 children under 2 years of age suffer from acute malnutrition and 3% suffer from severe acute malnutrition, which is in fact the most life-threatening form.”

And in Rafah (where an imminent Israeli land offensive is feared)?

“In Rafah there are 600 thousand children, out of 1 million and 300 thousand people crowded together on the streets, who need continuous help. In this area there are 5% of children under 2 years of age who suffer from acute malnutrition. In general 95 % of families, therefore almost all people, limit meals and portions : 64% consume only one meal a day. In fact, the parents of almost all Palestinian children have limited the quantity of food to ensure that the little ones have enough.

As the conflict enters its 20th week we are faced with a malnutrition emergency. It is clear that in light of all this we have an increasing number of children at risk of dying in a predictable manner, which would be added to those who have already died for other reasons”.

What is the solution?

“If the conflict does not actually end today, malnutrition will worsen and there will be many deaths and health problems not only for the children of Gaza today but also for future generations. Everything is missing: food, water, nutritional health services. There are none only dead and injured, but also 19 thousand children separated from their parents whose reunification is difficult, more than 1000 are nowhere to be found because they are still under the rubble.

This already dramatic picture is added to various epidemics linked to the lack of drinking water (families have only one liter available per day), such as hepatitis A and the risk of cholera which could cause a massacre within the massacre. We are facing a humanitarian catastrophe.”

Is the arrival of aid more difficult than in previous months?

“At the beginning we asked for 100 trucks a day, then they increased from the Rafah crossing and then the number decreased again. It is clear that if there are very strong limitations there is also a further aggravation of the situation which becomes unmanageable. In plus it's cold now.”

Some UN experts have denounced in a report the rapes and violence suffered by Palestinian women and girls since 7 October. What do you think?

“We have no proof of any kind, we have no evidence and above all we do not take any side . We only see that there are children who are in the midst of this disaster, on both sides. Instead of praising a peace that is common, minors pay the price for the violence of a crisis that has neither winners nor losers nor a reason but entire populations who suffer enormous pain.

The children have experienced terrible traumas , they have seen parents killed, mothers raped, planes bomb their homes, siblings disappear, many do not sleep and are unable to have a normal life. No one in this situation is better than the other, there is a very high price that is paid especially by the little ones.”

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