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Threat of imminent man-made famine in Gaza should shame the world into action

18th March 2024

Today (18 March) the IPC announced that famine is imminent in northern Gaza and could take place at any point between now and May, with a risk of famine across the rest of Gaza too.

According to the IPC data, half the population of Gaza (around 1.1 million people) are now set to experience the highest category of catastrophic food insecurity (IPC Phases 5, Catastrophic), an increase of 92% since the previous IPC analysis in December 2023. Virtually all households are skipping meals every day and experts have observed a steeply increasing trend in acute malnutrition, with the evidence pointing towards a steep rise in child deaths. 
Responding, Rose Caldwell, CEO of Plan International UK, said: 

“After months of unimaginable trauma and indiscriminate bombing, the children of Gaza are now facing the horror of starvation and the threat of imminent famine. This entirely man-made catastrophe should be a source of shame for the international community and demands urgent action at scale. Children are already dying of starvation, dehydration, and related diseases. The only moral response is an immediate and permanent ceasefire, with the Government of Israel also providing immediate and unrestricted border access to allow the urgent delivery of lifesaving aid. Anything less is unthinkable.  

“There can be no excuses: preventing access for humanitarian aid is a clear violation of international humanitarian law. Land borders must be opened immediately and without restriction in order to prevent famine. Airdrops and naval aid deliveries alone cannot feed the millions of people who urgently need to eat, while thousands require medical assistance to give them a chance of surviving the horrific malnutrition they have already experienced.  

“The children of Gaza have already suffered more than any child should, but further deaths from starvation can still be prevented if we act now. Governments must apply urgent political pressure to end the violence and compel Israeli authorities to stop their deliberate blockade of lifesaving aid. The starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is illegal and immoral. We urge Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and all governments around the world to apply urgent pressure on the Government of Israel now to help prevent hundreds of thousands of people from starving to death.” 

For more information or to arrange interviews please contact:   

Tom Phillips, Media & News Advisor, [email protected]  

Tel: 07946 648 533  

Plan International UK Press Office  

Tel: 0300 777 7374 Switchboard: 0300 777 9777 / +44 (0)20 7608 1311 (Non-UK) 

Email: [email protected] 

Notes to editors: 

About Plan International UK 

Plan International UK is a global children’s charity striving for an equal world. One where every child can reach their full potential and every girl can choose her own future.   

Poverty, violence, and discrimination still hold back millions of children around the world. And it’s often girls that are most affected. That’s why ensuring girls get equal chances in life is at the heart of everything we do.    
We work across more than 80 countries to build a future where every child is safe and receives an education. A world where all girls are free from violence, in control of their own body, know their rights and have their voices heard.   

And if disaster strikes, we’re there too. We work to protect children, keep them learning and help their communities recover.  

But we don’t do it alone. To create lasting change, we work together with children, local communities, partners, and our supporters who believe a better future is possible. 

We won’t stop until we are all equal.

Contact Us

Plan International UK Press Office

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0300 777 7374