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Caritas responds to growing food shortage in Gaza


Caritas Australia has warned that Gaza is suffering from the worst hunger crisis, being home to 80 per cent of the global population at catastrophic risk of starvation and death.

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Since the conflict began on October 7, an estimated 23,000 Palestinians and 1200 Israelis have been killed, with more than two thirds of casualties being women and children.

At least 70 per cent of all housing in Gaza has been damaged or destroyed and only 13 of its 36 hospitals are partially functioning. The Gaza Strip also remains under an electricity blackout. In the West Bank, thousands of people have lost their jobs or have failed to have work permits renewed, with those who work in Israel also losing income sources as they can no longer cross checkpoints.

Caritas Australia confirmed partner agencies are continuing to work on increasing their operational capacity, which includes establishing a new office and warehouse in Rafah. Partners are also working with an existing network of supermarkets, established as part of long-standing work in the region, with supplies being distributed from Rafah and Deir el-Balah. Work is also being undertaken with the World Food Program, leading to the distribution of 3380 food parcels to families.

Sally Thomas, Humanitarian Emergencies lead at Caritas Australia said food deprivation in Gaza had reached extreme levels with the entire population at imminent risk of famine.

“Residents are also enduring a lack of access to medical care, safe shelter, and clean water,” she said.

“Meanwhile those in Jerusalem and the West Bank are under increasingly dire economic stress due to widespread loss of income, leaving families struggling to cover the cost of basic needs such as food and medicine.”

Since the start of hostilities, Caritas Australia’s partners have also distributed bedding supplies to 2938 families, shelter supplies to 3755 families and provided multi-purpose cash assistance to 21,197 households in Gaza. Support continues to be offered to four church premises providing shelter to displaced families.

In Egypt, bedding kits and hygiene kits have been procured for 1360 families as well as shelter items for 480 families. Meanwhile in Lebanon, 72,437 people have been displaced due to hostilities along the southern border. Caritas Lebanon has been supported by partner agencies to provide cash assistance to 470 displaced families, as well as 2985 food kits and 246 hygiene kits.

“The need across the region is extensive, with the ongoing compassion and support of the international community set to become increasingly essential as conflict displaces people in other areas of the Middle East,” said Ms Thomas.

To support Caritas Australia’s Gaza Appeal, visit or call 1800 024 413 toll free.

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