Home » In Gaza also NGO workers without food and water: “We feed ourselves on bird and donkey feed”

In Gaza also NGO workers without food and water: “We feed ourselves on bird and donkey feed”

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In Gaza also NGO workers without food and water: “We feed ourselves on bird and donkey feed”

No water, no food, no electricity. No connection and possibility of communicating with the rest of the world. No space even for the wounded and sick, who have to make do with the floor for a bed. “The situation here is catastrophic.” Loay Harbynurse of Doctors Without Borders in the clinic that the NGO still runs in the North of Gaza, he seems to have run out of adjectives too. “We have no electricity, water or connection and this creates a situation of extreme instability for the people here. We have no flour and no way to communicate with the world.”

The first shipment of aid by sea for the starving city

“Here” means in Gaza City, in the north of the Strip, which has been cut off from humanitarian convoy routes for months now, while the Israeli army’s operations continue. On the deserted beach of the city yesterday the boats of the humanitarian ship Open Arms they towed a raft loaded with 200 tons of food and aid put together by the Spanish NGO World Central Kitchen. It is the first shipment to arrive by sea, “but we are already preparing another shipment in Larnaca,” he announces Jose Andres. On the pier built in a few days, a small mobile crane took crates and crates of food from the raft and placed them on twelve trucks, which will deliver them to the NGO teams who prepare meals daily in the field kitchens in the north of the Strip. But they are drops in the sea.

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Patients also on the floor

“We are going through very difficult times, due to the siege, poverty and hunger,” explains the MSF nurse. There are only four left of the NGO in Gaza City. In addition to the clinic, Loay and a colleague also lend a volunteer hand every day at Al Shifa hospital, which has repeatedly ended up at the center of Israeli raids. The images that he managed to send with difficulty to colleagues outside the Strip are from Dante’s circle.

Patients slumped on chairs that were once used for waiting patients, on the ground, on improvised stretchers in large rooms full of injured people. “There are also many displaced people in the hospital, which makes our work even more difficult. Some patients are placed on the floor. There are not enough beds and spaces to accommodate them all.”


As long as they manage to arrive. Gaza City is a city of rubble, the images it sends show houses and streets gutted, buildings blackened and perforated by the bombings that hit them. In the middle, people trying to survive. “Patients with burns and war wounds still arrive – says Harby – we provide them with basic healthcare with the minimum capabilities we have here”. The roads – explains the MSF nurse – are destroyed, moving is dangerous. Infections and complications of treated wounds are often due to this. In the Doctors Without Borders clinic they try to put a patch on it: “I prepare dressing kits for patients and explain to them how to change them regularly.”


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Flour at 33 euros per kilo, only animal food at affordable prices

Life is complicated for the staff too. “Five times harder,” he tries to measure it Suhail Habib, another of the other four MSF operators remaining in the North. “We can’t find the flour because the Israeli army has blocked it. We are forced to eat animal food to survive. Sometimes we eat bird and donkey feed and sometimes the grass we collect on street corners.” They are the only foods at a non-inaccessible price that can be purchased, even if – they explain from the North of the Strip – even that is starting to be too expensive. Especially the one for dogs. It’s meat or at least it looks like it.

“Every day – explains Habib – I return home empty-handed, without food, without flour, without bread, without rice. Today a kilo of rice costs 33 dollars, so I can’t feed my children.”

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