Severe fuel shortages are threatening the provision of emergency food supplies to thousands of displaced families in the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip, the UN food organization said on Friday.
World Food Program (WFP) Representative Samer Abdeljaber stated, “Only two of our contracted bakeries have fuel to produce bread at the moment, and there might be none tomorrow.”
“This would be a terrible blow to the thousands of families living in shelters who have been relying on the daily bread deliveries.”
The agency said it provided daily bread supplies, on average, for 200,000 people in shelters, but this fell to 150,000 on Wednesday due to the lack of fuel.
“Fuel is not only critical for bakeries. It is also needed for the trucks that receive the supplies entering through the Rafah crossing and to distribute those supplies across Gaza,” the WFP said.
It added that “essential food commodities are rapidly running out in Gaza’s shops,” as they are unable to restock “due to damaged roads, safety concerns and shortage of fuel.”
So far, the WFP has provided about 630,000 people with emergency food supplies, mainly canned food and fresh bread, in shelters and communities across Gaza and the West Bank.
While nine WFP trucks have crossed into Gaza since the opening of the Rafah crossing point on Saturday, 39 others carrying food supplies are awaiting entry.
The food agency said 40 trucks needed to enter the Gaza Strip daily to meet the need in the besieged enclave.
“The people of Gaza need continuous aid delivery at a level that corresponds to the enormous needs,” Abdeljaber said, as he echoed UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire.
Israel has cut supplies of food, water and power to Gaza, notably blocking all deliveries of fuel, which has jeopardized life-saving humanitarian operations in Gaza.