Israel Delivers More Aid to Gaza, but Threat of Famine Persists, U.N. Says

Israel says the number of trucks entering the enclave has doubled to an average of 400 a day. The U.N. disputes that, but agrees that the pace of deliveries has quickened.

Under intense international scrutiny, Israel has expedited the flow of aid into Gaza this month, but humanitarian groups say that more is needed as severe hunger grips the enclave, particularly in the devastated north.

Israel’s efforts — which include opening new aid routes — have been acknowledged in the last week by the Biden administration and international aid officials. More aid trucks appear to be reaching Gaza, especially the north, where experts have warned for weeks that famine is imminent.

The increased levels of aid are a good sign, but it is too early to say that looming famine is no longer a risk, said Arif Husain, the chief economist at the United Nations World Food Program.

“This cannot just happen for a day or a week — it has to happen every single day for the foreseeable future,” Mr. Husain said, adding that the main need was for more food, water and medicine. “If we can do this, then we can ease the pain, we can avert famine.”

The aid groups have long complained that only a trickle of aid is entering the enclave, blaming harsh war conditions, strict inspections and limits on the number of crossing points. Israel has maintained that the restrictions are necessary to ensure that neither weapons nor supplies fall into the hands of Hamas.

Trucks lined up on the Egyptian side of the border near the Kerem Shalom crossing. Israel says an average of 400 trucks are crossing into Gaza each day, but the United Nations counts less than half that.Atef Safadi/EPA, via Shutterstock

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