Study: Gaza food shipments more than adequate for current needs

Terrorists on trucks loaded with aid entering Gaza through Israel’s Kerem Shalom Crossing, April 3, 2024. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

(JNS) — More than a half-dozen senior Israeli health and medical academics conducted an in-depth study of food aid to the Gaza Strip and determined that a sufficient amount had entered to meet the needs of the entire population.

The researchers analyzed food shipments delivered into the Gaza Strip by land from January to April 2024 as recorded by COGAT, the Defense Ministry arm coordinating aid supplies to Gaza.

The researchers classified the food consignments by type, i.e. specific food commodities, standardized food parcels containing recommended items, cooked meals, infant foods, etc.

Researchers also estimated the total energy (kcal/ton), protein (gm/ton), fat (gm/ton) and iron (mg/ton) content of each shipment according to food composition values.

Their conclusion: “The amount of food delivered per capita should be sufficient for the entire Gazan population, and meets Sphere humanitarian recommendations for food aid delivery to conflict affected populations, during the period examined.”

The Sphere standards are the most commonly used set of core humanitarian standards for food security and nutrition in humanitarian contexts.

“Additional sources of food aid provided by air, sea and via the Egyptian border were not taken into account,” the report noted. “Therefore, our results do not represent the entire food supply available to the population, which may have more fruit and vegetables.”

The report analyzed data from 14,916 trucks weighing 227,853.8 tons of food items, as recorded in the COGAT database from January to April.

On average, 3,729 food trucks entered Gaza per month (124 per day). That’s more food trucks entering Gaza per day than before the war in January-September 2023 (100), researchers noted.

The report did not study food distribution and accessibility given the lack of reliable data. It recommended that further studies should investigate distribution specifically.

Numerous media stories have reported that Hamas has been stealing aid entering Gaza for its own purposes.

The report’s authors include Naomi Fliss Isakov, head of the Nutrition Research Department of the Israeli Ministry of Health; Dorit Nitzan,
director of the Master’s Program in Emergency Medicine-Preparedness and Response at Ben-Gurion University; Moran Blaychfeld Magnazi, deputy director of the Nutrition Division at the Ministry of Health; Aron Troen, director of the Master’s Program in Biochemistry, Food and Nutrition Science at the Hebrew University; Sharon Alroy-Preis, director of Public Health at the Ministry of Health; and Ronit Endevelt, head of the Nutrition Department at the ministry’s Division of Public Health.