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Latest post: Tue 27 Feb 2024

Insights on the work of the UN Security Council

Briefing on Food Security Risks in Gaza

This afternoon (27 February), the Security Council will hold a briefing on food insecurity in Gaza under the “Protection of civilians in armed conflict” agenda item. Briefings are expected from OCHA Head in Geneva and Director of the Coordination Division Ramesh Rajasingham, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Deputy Director-General Maurizio Martina, and World Food Programme (WFP) Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Carl Skau. Guyana and Switzerland, the Council’s focal points on conflict and hunger, joined by Algeria and Slovenia, requested the meeting after OCHA sent Council members a white note, dated 22 February, on food insecurity in the Gaza Strip.

OCHA submitted the white note in accordance with resolution 2417 of 24 May 2018, which requested the Secretary-General to report swiftly when “the risk of conflict-induced famine and wide-spread food insecurity” occurs. For several months, UN agencies have raised alarms about food insecurity and the risk of famine in the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. In December 2023, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC)—used by relief agencies to measure hunger levels—published a special brief estimating that, between 24 November and 7 December 2023, over 90 percent of Gaza’s population, or about 2.08 million people, were experiencing “high levels of acute food insecurity”, which it classifies as crisis level conditions or worse. It projected that the entire population of 2.2 million would face such levels of acute food insecurity by February 2024 due to the armed conflict. This is the highest share of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity ever classified worldwide, according to the brief. Of this total, about half of the population (1.17 million people) was projected to face emergency levels (IPC Phase 4) and more than half a million people were anticipated to face catastrophic conditions (IPC Phase 5).

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