Gaza: Joint Statement by High Representative Josep Borrell and Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič on the risk of famine

European Union, 2023European Union, 2023

We are deeply shocked by the results of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) assessment for Gaza released on Thursday.

According to the IPC, 100% of people in Gaza are estimated to be acutely food insecure, while a quarter of its population faces catastrophic hunger and starvation. This is unprecedented. No IPC analysis has ever recorded such levels of food insecurity anywhere in the world.

This is a grave development and should be a wakeup call for the whole world to act now to prevent a deadly human catastrophe.

The only way to stop people dying of hunger is to ensure the protection of civilians, allow the safe access of humanitarian and health workers across Gaza, and provide sufficient food to all civilians in need, wherever they are.

We urgently need continued, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to avoid a further worsening of an already catastrophic situation.

We reiterate the urgent call for respect of International Humanitarian Law. The lack of access to basic staples is creating a situation of famine.

Aid needs to reach those in need through all necessary means, including humanitarian corridors and pauses for humanitarian needs.

Through its humanitarian food assistance, the EU aims to ensure access to safe and nutritious food for the most hungry and vulnerable people in crises around the world.

In 2023, the EU has increased its humanitarian funding for Palestinians in need to over €100 million, €46 million of which is specifically dedicated to food assistance and to cover health and other basic needs. The EU is also delivering nutritional assistance via Humanitarian Air Bridge flights for the people of Gaza.

For next year, the EU has set aside €125 million in humanitarian support to ensure continued support for people in Palestine who need it the most.