The Independent presses White House on humanitarian aid efforts in Gaza

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“How can you stand there and say the president is doing everything he can, when for weeks… even as NGOs and aid groups warned that famine was imminent, you continued to refuse to… link defence aid to humanitarian aid?” Mr Feinberg asked.

“We’ve done air drops, we’re going to do this pier,” Ms Jean-Pierre said of the US efforts to get aid into Gaza, which includes a temporary pier in the Mediterranean Sea. “We’ve talked about for the past several months how we need to do more and how we’re going to uptick our efforts to get that humanitarian aid into Gaza.”

Of the around 250 hostages taken from Israel into Gaza last October, 133 remain, according to Israel.

On Wednesday, a US official said for the first time that famine is probably already underway in Gaza.

Administrator Samantha Power of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) appeared before the House Foreign Relations Committee where she was asked by Democratic Rep Joaquin Castro if it’s “plausible or likely that parts of Gaza, and in particular northern Gaza, are already experiencing famine?”

“The methodology that the [Integrated Food Security Phase Classification initiative] used is one that we had our experts scrub, it’s one that’s relied upon in other settings, and that is their assessment, and we believe that assessment is credible,” Ms Jean-Pierre said.

“So famine is already occurring there?” Mr Castro pressed.

“That is – yes,” she said.

Mr Feinberg noted that President Joe Biden has “not until recently even suggested that he would condition military aid which Israel needs on them allowing food and humanitarian aid into Gaza”.

“The hostage deal includes getting the humanitarian aid in. We’ve been working on getting that hostage deal done. We’re going to continue to do that,” Ms Jean-Pierre said.

More than 33,000 people in Gaza have died during Israel’s war on Hamas, mostly women and children. The war was declared after Hamas terrorists killed 1,200 people in Israel and took numerous hostages on October 7, 2023.

Source: The Independent