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557,000 women in Gaza are currently food insecure: UN Women

Posted On: 28-06-2024 | Human Rights
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 The UN Women warned today that at least 557,000 women in Gaza are currently food insecure, noting that many mothers and adult women there often prioritize feeding others, facing greater difficulties than men in accessing adequate food supplies.

According to the UN agency's findings, many women in Gaza are forced to skip meals or reduce their own food intake to ensure their children are fed. These challenges severely restrict their access to essential services, endangering their health and nutritional security, and increasing their vulnerability to gender-based violence.

The report outlines five key facts illustrating the impact of food insecurity on women in Gaza:

Care Burden: Women struggle to protect the well-being of their children, both physically and emotionally, while bearing additional responsibilities for caregiving and household duties, especially in crowded living conditions.

Physical health and weight loss: Widespread food insecurity and malnutrition prevail in Gaza, with 7 out of 10 women reporting weight loss in the past 30 days, and over half experiencing frequent dizziness.

Food assistance: More than 80% of respondents rely on food aid as their primary source of nutrition. However, 87.3% believe that food aid distribution does not fairly account for family size, with 83.5% indicating that aid does not meet their household's needs adequately.

Complications in pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum: Pregnant and lactating women face high health risks due to inadequate healthcare and nutrition. 76% of pregnant women suffer from anemia, while 99% struggle to access nutritional supplements, jeopardizing maternal and infant health.

Kitchen access and unsafe cooking methods: Only a third of respondents have proper kitchens and cooking facilities, with 69% resorting to unsafe cooking methods such as using wood or burning waste, posing serious health risks. Women responsible for meal preparation are often exposed to smoke and hazardous pollutants, leading to respiratory and other health issues.

The UN Women's agency called for urgent international attention and support to address the critical food insecurity crisis affecting women in Gaza.

The report underscored the immediate need for equitable distribution of food aid, enhanced healthcare services, and measures to ensure the safety and well-being of women and their families amidst ongoing conflict and humanitarian challenges.

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