“Rafah is hanging on the edge of the abyss,” said a UNICEF official in Gaza

“Rafah is hanging on the edge of the abyss,” said a UNICEF official in Gaza

Rafah is “hanging on the edge” and those left behind in southern Gaza city, including 600,000 children, are the most vulnerable and live in “shocking” conditions, according to a United Nations Children’s Fund official in Rafah.

“(They are) living in very difficult conditions under tents, makeshift tarps, under shocking sanitary conditions because there is no effective sewage system here,” Hamish Young, UNICEF’s senior emergency coordinator for Gaza, told CNN on Thursday.
“The level of acute watery diarrhoea, which… can kill children quite easily, is now 20 times higher than this time last year.”
Young said that malnutrition rates in Rafah were increasing, and that children were “in real trouble” after the closure of one of the city’s main hospitals “reduced children’s ability to access medical services.”

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday that hospitals in southern Gaza only had three days of fuel left, “which means that services will probably stop soon.”

“It’s two days of fuel now,” Young said.
“We are already rationing fuel for the hospital, reducing operations as much as we can. When that fuel runs out, the life support system in the hospital stops.”

If generators stop operating, patients who use ventilators and children who rely on incubators are at extreme risk, he said.

“People who are on ventilators, I don’t know what happens to them when the ventilator stops working. Babies in incubators, tiny little babies, often two and three are jammed into one incubator because we can’t get enough in,” Young said. .

“Maybe a lot will die when the oil runs out.”

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