Gaza hunger figures “worst on record” - says Oxfam

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Responding to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report published today, which found the levels of hunger and starvation in Gaza are the highest ever recorded on the IPC scale and that since December the number of people in the country who are facing levels of hunger has nearly doubled, Oxfam’s interim Chief Executive, Aleema Shivji, said:

“Never before have we seen such rapid deterioration into widespread starvation. Northern Gaza is days away from famine and without urgent action the rest of Gaza faces a similar fate. Children are already dying of malnutrition and starvation under the gaze of the international community.

“Israel is blocking food and aid from going into Gaza and has been using starvation as a weapon of war for over five months now. Israel’s deliberate manufacturing of suffering is systemic and of such scale and intensity that it creates a real risk of a genocide in Gaza.

“The UK Government has watched this catastrophic situation unfold yet has repeatedly refused to back calls for an immediate and permanent ceasefire. While families in Gaza are literally starving, the UK needs to do more to pressure the Government of Israel to open Gaza and let aid in, as well as hold them to account for deliberately preventing humanitarian aid from reaching those in desperate need. The time for words is over, the UK needs to act now.

“We cannot wait for a declaration of famine to stop these appalling atrocities. An immediate permanent ceasefire is the only way to get enough aid to those who need it and is the safest way to ensure the release of the remaining hostages. Only this, along with a political solution, including ending the occupation can bring a lasting peace with justice for both Palestinians and Israelis alike.”


For more information, or to arrange an interview with an Oxfam spokesperson, please contact: Sarah Dransfield in the Oxfam Press Office, on 07884 114825 /

Notes to editors

  • A new Oxfam report published today shows how the humanitarian situation in Gaza has actually worsened since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) specifically ordered Israel to enable more aid. Read Oxfam's report “Inflicting Unprecedented Suffering and Destruction”, Oxfam brief, 18 March 2024.
  • Latest IPC findings show that Famine is projected to occur anytime between now and May 2024 in the northern governorates of Gaza and North Gaza. Read the Famine Review Committee report HERE; and the full IPC's Gaza Report
  • The number of people in Gaza who were in IPC5 (Catastrophe) was 530,000, and according to the projection period (which starts mid-March), the number rose to 1.1 million, which is a 92% rise. Source: IPC Report, 18 March 2024. The highest ever on record both in terms of number of people and percentage of the population.
  • The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is an innovative multi-partner initiative of 19 organisations, including Oxfam, and intergovernmental institutions. The IPC initiative provides food security and nutrition analysis to inform decision-making.
  • Accordingly to the IPC classification, the entire population of Gaza is currently facing high levels of acute food insecurity – or IPC 3 (Crisis) and above. This includes half of the population (about 1.11 million) experiencing catastrophic food insecurity (IPC Phase 5, Catastrophe). This is the highest ever recorded number of people in IPC Phase 5 (Catastrophe), both in terms of percent of the population and total number of people.
  • The IPC analysis was done between 26 February and 1 March, 2024. The figures are likely an underestimate of the situation now.

Press contact

For comments, interviews, or information please contact Sarah Dransfield (Senior Press Officer):