Parts of Gaza in ‘Full-Blown Famine,’ U.N. Aid Official Says

The leader of the World Food Program said that parts of the Gaza Strip are experiencing a “full-blown famine” that is spreading across the territory after almost seven months of war that have made delivering aid extremely challenging.

“There is famine — full-blown famine in the north, and it’s moving its way south,” Cindy McCain, the program’s director, said in excerpts released late Friday of an interview with “Meet The Press.”

Ms. McCain is the second high-profile American leading a U.S. government or U.N. aid effort who has said that there is famine in northern Gaza, although her remarks do not constitute an official declaration, which is a complex bureaucratic process.

She did not explain why an official famine declaration has not been made. But she said her assessment was “based on what we have seen and what we have experienced on the ground.”

The hunger crisis is most severe in the strip’s northern section, a largely lawless and gang ridden area where the Israeli military exercises little or no control. In recent weeks, after Israel faced mounting global pressure to improve dire conditions there, more aid has flowed into the devastated area.

On the diplomatic front, negotiations resumed in Cairo on Saturday aimed at reaching a cease-fire and an agreement to release Israeli and Palestinian hostages. A delegation of Hamas leaders traveled to the Egyptian capital, the Palestinian armed group said.

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