Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

WHO Alarmed by Attack on Humanitarian Workers in Gaza

Wed 03 Apr 2024 | 11:43 PM
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed its alarm over the death of seven humanitarian workers affiliated with the Global Central Kitchen in Gaza, who were dedicated to saving lives by providing essential food supplies to thousands of hungry individuals. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the WHO, highlighted in a statement that the workers' vehicles bore clear markings, underscoring that such humanitarian missions should never be targeted.

Dr. Tedros emphasized the significant challenges and dangers associated with delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza. He noted the grave implications of the Global Central Kitchen’s temporary halt in operations, leaving many without critical food aid.

In honoring the memory of the deceased workers, Dr. Tedros praised their commitment to service and their courage in risking their lives for the welfare of others. He also mentioned the WHO's ongoing partnership with the Global Central Kitchen to distribute food to healthcare workers and patients in Gaza’s hospitals.

This tragic event highlights the perilous conditions under which WHO staff and their partners operate. Dr. Tedros stressed the necessity of secure access for humanitarian missions, advocating for the establishment of effective and transparent safeguards to ensure the safe passage of aid convoys.

Furthermore, Dr. Tedros called for the opening of additional access points, including in Northern Gaza, the clearance of routes, and the facilitation of swift and predictable checkpoints crossings. He pointed out that hindrances to humanitarian missions not only restrict aid from reaching those in need but also disrupt other critical operations by diverting scarce resources.

Additionally, the WHO has voiced its distress over the cessation of operations and substantial damage to Al-Shifa Hospital, one of Gaza’s primary healthcare facilities. Recent attempts by the WHO team in Gaza to gain access to the remaining parts of the hospital, to communicate with the staff, and assess salvageable resources, have painted a bleak picture of the situation. The attack on the Global Central Kitchen convoy and the damage to Al-Shifa Hospital underscore the catastrophic effects of ongoing conflict on Gaza's healthcare infrastructure and humanitarian activities.