Written by 14:27 World

Gazans Describe Life on the Verge of Famine

A panel of global hunger experts warned this week that the Gaza Strip was on the brink of famine, but to many Gazans, it feels as if it is already here.

“I swear our stomachs are decaying,” said Eman Abu Jaljum, 23, whose family in northern Gaza has been surviving off canned peas and beans.

In a report issued on Tuesday, the experts said that almost half a million people in the territory faced starvation. They stopped short of declaring a famine, a designation that depends on a variety of criteria being met.

But in a Gaza devastated by almost nine months of war between Israel and Hamas, that can seem like a distinction without a difference.

“We are living in a famine that is more extreme than ever before,” Ms. Abu Jaljum said.

Each day brings a new struggle to find food. Fresh vegetables are scarce and meat scarcer still. And at those food markets that are still functioning, the shortages have sent prices skyrocketing, including for staples like flour and rice.

The last time that Iyad al-Sapti, a 30-year-old father of six in Gaza City, was able to get a bag of flour was nearly two months ago — and that required waiting in line for three hours, he said. A single bell pepper, he said, now costs more than $2.


Last modified: 29 June 2024