By Folasade Akpan
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has reiterated calls by the United Nations
Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, to rescind the evacuation order from northern Gaza, which is making a dire humanitarian situation even worse.
The Fund’s Executive Director, Dr Natalia Kanem, made the call in a statement issued to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
by UNFPA Nigeria’s Media Associate, Hajiya Kori Habib in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to her, UNFPA deplores the loss of lives in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and deeply concerned about
the safety and wellbeing of all civilians caught up in the crisis, especially women and girls.
She stated that the evacuation order from Northern Gaza is making a dire humanitarian situation even worse.
She added that “for the thousands of women about to give birth, and those who are sick and critically injured, being forced from
their homes with nowhere safe to go and no food or water, it is extremely dangerous.
“Gaza is home to 50,000 pregnant women who are struggling to access essential health services, as hospitals teeter on the brink of collapse,
with no electricity and few if any vital supplies or medicines.
“UNFPA supports pregnant women and newborns by providing essential medicines and deploying midwives. This can only continue if lifesaving aid can reach them.
“We call for immediate, unimpeded humanitarian access so that food, medicines, water and fuel can reach everyone in need.”
Kanem also called on all parties to abide by international humanitarian law, and for the immediate release of all hostages, adding that
attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure must cease, and healthcare facilities must never be a target.
NAN reports that Isreal started launching attacks on Gaza after a major assault on Isreal by the Palestinian organisation Hamas on
Several hospitals in Gaza City, therefore, became refugee centres for hundreds of people, hoping they would be spared the bombardment
after Israel ordered all residents of the city and surrounding areas to evacuate to the southern Gaza Strip.
Thereafter, an Israeli air force bombed the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in the Gaza strip on Tuesday, where at least 500 people were reportedly
killed, the deadliest Israeli airstrike in five wars fought since 2008.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu