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IPC Study Says No Famine Experienced Or Even Likely In Gaza

ADH Staff WriterJuly 3, 2024

A recent report from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) organization has cast doubt on previous claims of a famine in Gaza, highlighting discrepancies in the data presented by various UN agencies and humanitarian officials.

The IPC report found no evidence of famine in Gaza, contradicting earlier projections made in March, which estimated that around 1.1 million Gazans would suffer from the highest level of food insecurity by mid-July. The latest data indicates that this number was grossly overestimated, with actual figures showing significantly fewer people affected.

According to the IPC’s criteria, famine is determined by three conditions: 20% of households facing an extreme lack of food, 30% of children suffering from acute malnutrition, and at least two adult deaths or four child deaths per 10,000 people per day due to starvation. The recent report found none of these criteria met in Gaza.

The latest IPC study indicates that 5% of the Gazan population is in “Phase 2 – Stressed,” 51% in “Phase 3 – Crisis,” 29% in “Phase 4 – Emergency,” and 15% in “Phase 5 – Catastrophe,” the highest level of food insecurity. Despite this, the IPC has classified Gaza as being in “Phase 4 – Emergency.”

The report also projects an increase in those experiencing the highest levels of food insecurity, predicting that between June 16 and September 30, the percentage of Gazans in “Phase 5 – Catastrophe” will rise to 22%, and those in “Phase 4 – Emergency” will increase to 33%. However, previous projections from March were found to be significantly inaccurate, missing their mark by a wide margin.

Prof. Aron Troen of Hebrew University’s School of Nutrition Science criticized the IPC report for its “limited transparency” and “slanted projections,” which he argued undermined trust in the organization’s neutrality and impartiality.

The IPC did not respond to requests for comments or interviews. Despite the report’s findings, it continues to draw attention to severe food insecurity in Gaza. The data shows a decrease in Middle Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) prevalence, a measure of malnutrition, which returned to prewar levels in northern Gaza, contradicting earlier claims of increased malnutrition.

The report also found that the mortality rate from starvation in Gaza was much lower than previously suggested. A survey conducted by a Palestinian polling company on behalf of the World Food Program indicated a crude death rate of 0.55 deaths per 10,000 people per day from all causes, including violence, suggesting that nonviolent death rates were close to nil.

Despite the severe food insecurity and suffering in Gaza, the IPC’s report has raised questions about the accuracy of its projections and the impact of its alarming claims on international aid efforts. Prof. Troen emphasized the need for cooperation between Israelis, international agencies, and Palestinians to ensure an effective humanitarian response while criticizing the IPC for positing extreme worst-case scenarios.

The report underscores the importance of transparency and accuracy in reporting humanitarian crises to foster trust and cooperation among all parties involved in addressing the challenges in Gaza.

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