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U.N. officials warn that aid efforts face imminent threat from lack of fuel and food.


Fuel trucks rolled into the Gaza Strip on Friday, after five days without fuel deliveries that U.N. officials said had left hospitals and other parts of the international aid mission facing imminent closure.

The arrival of fuel holds off that collapse temporarily, but leaders of the aid effort say reserves remain dangerously low, and there is still a deepening hunger crisis. The United Nations’ food agency and its primary aid agency in Gaza, UNRWA, will run out of food for distribution in southern Gaza on Saturday, said Georgios Petropoulos, head of the U.N. aid office in the southern city of Rafah.

Gaza’s power grid has long since ceased to function, leaving hospitals, water desalination plants and other critical infrastructure to depend on fuel-burning generators to produce electricity, and vehicles like aid distribution trucks and ambulances also need fuel.

Israeli authorities said 200,000 liters of fuel were delivered to Gaza on Friday. The main United Nations aid agency for the region, UNRWA, put the figure at 157,000 liters. The enclave needs about 160,000 liters per day to function, U.N. officials have said.

But other vital supplies like food and medicine have not reached southern Gaza, where most of the population has sought refuge, since Sunday, UNRWA said.

Once fuel crossed the border into Gaza on Friday, it was not clear how much of it reached its intended destinations. Aid groups have faced an immense challenge in distributing supplies in a war zone with active combat, roadblocks and streets pocked with bomb craters and debris.


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