• Gaza

  • Thursday, December 28, 2023 at 3:35 AM
    Last Update : Thursday, December 28, 2023 at 3:35 AM

Displaced Palestinians on the Brink of Famine as Foodstuffs Become Scarce

(AWP) - Weary of repeated requests from customers at his small store in Al-Borej camp, Abu Mohamed al-Boghdadi hung a sign indicating that there was no sugar, flour or salt available, as a foodstuffs crisis unfolds due to the continued Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.

Boghdadi was agonized that his store, filled with various items three months ago, was now empty due to the war, which started on October 7.

“I had to make that sign because every now and then, people come and ask for certain items and I keep answering, ‘not available’. Now, people read the sign and go away. They know that there are no commodities, particularly the basics, available. We have nothing left at the store except detergents. There is nothing to eat,” he explains.

He noted that there were no new goods due to the absence of supply, in addition to the flow of displaced people at al-Borej camp, which contained 60,000 people before the war, and now holds more than 200,000.

“There are no goods, because there are no sources to take goods from. The distributors’ warehouses have run out of goods. One of the reasons for the vanishing items is the large numbers of displaced people who have arrived at the camp,” Boghdadi pointed out.

The scarcity of staples coincided with a huge increase in prices and meager amounts of relief aid, which has created a parallel market, where displaced people sell some of what they get in order to buy other products.

Youssef al-Boghdadi, a salesman who has a stall in which he placed cans of beans, chick-peas, meat, coffee and tea, said, “We buy canned meat from citizens who sell it to us so they can buy vegetables and manage their financial affairs.”

“We buy one can for nine shekels and sell it for 10 shekels. It used to be worth five. Today, due to the blockade and the scarcity of commodities, a customer might come to me to ask for it, but would not find any.”

Meanwhile, displaced Palestinians complain of the small amount of aid, which has forced them to eat only one meal a day.
“Apart from the war of bombardment, we have another type of war, one of starvation. Our children are not eating as they should be. There is nothing available. They eat a very small amount of food. We used to buy seven loaves of bread for only one shekel, but now we buy six for 10 shekels. How can this amount be enough for seven to nine people?” wondered Ata Abu-Khidr, describing his living conditions along with his five children.

“The amount of aid is small.What we receive is so little. Today we received a bag containing a box of cheese, two tomatoes and two cucumbers. This is not enough. Can this feed five people? This is famine. In addition to the war, epidemics, and diseases, we also have famine,” he added.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said that the provisions of foodstuffs, medicine and water are so small that about two million displaced people in the strip face famine and dehydration.