Belgian PM urges immediate humanitarian access to Gaza amid famine concerns

Israel must urgently demonstrate that it is not using hunger as a weapon of war, and it must do so by opening humanitarian access routes to the people of Gaza, Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo said in the Jordanian capital Amman on Saturday.

"There is no lack of humanitarian aid, but there is a lack of humanity in the organisation of this aid," De Croo said on the first day of a visit to Jordan, Qatar and Egypt. He spoke alongside Sigrid Kaag, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Gaza.

"There is no lack of humanitarian aid, but there is a lack of humanity in the organisation of this aid"

"There is no viable alternative" to delivering aid to Gaza by land, De Croo and Kaag said. Airdrops - as Belgium and other countries have been doing for several days - and the sea crossing opened in the last few hours are not an efficient way to reach those most in need. They are also very expensive. Given the catastrophic humanitarian situation, such solutions are largely symbolic.

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Belgium to airdrop 500,000 euros in humanitarian aid over Gaza
The Belgian army will airdrop 500,000 euros in humanitarian aid over Gaza, the country decided on Friday. A reconnaissance team is currently in Jordan to plan how and where the airdrop will take place.

According to the UN children's agency UNICEF, the number of children under two suffering from severe malnutrition in northern Gaza has doubled in one month. The figure represents 31 per cent of the age group.

Meanwhile, negotiations on a humanitarian truce have resumed between Israel and three mediating countries, Qatar, Egypt and the US.


Belgian PM Alexander De Croo and Sigrid Kaag, humanitarian and reconstruction coordinator for Gaza, in the Jordanian capital Amman © BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM

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