Parts of Gaza Are in Famine, World Food Program Chief Says

The director of the World Food Program, Cindy McCain, says that parts of the Gaza Strip are experiencing a “full-blown famine” that is rapidly spreading throughout the territory after almost seven months of war.

Ms. McCain is the second high-profile American leading a U.S. government or U.N. aid effort who has said that there is famine in northern Gaza, although her remarks do not constitute an official declaration, which is a complex bureaucratic process.

“There is famine — full-blown famine in the north, and it’s moving its way south,” Ms. McCain said in excerpts released on Friday of an interview with “Meet The Press.” The interviewer, Kristen Welker, asked Ms. McCain to repeat herself.

“What you are saying is significant,” Ms. Welker said. “You are saying there is full-blown famine in northern Gaza?”

“Yes, I am,” Ms. McCain replied. “Yes, I am.”

The first American official to say there was famine in Gaza during the conflict was Samantha Power, the director of the U.S. Agency for International Development, who made her remarks in congressional testimony last month.

Ms. McCain was appointed by President Biden as the American ambassador to the U.N. Agencies for Food and Agriculture in 2021 and became head of the W.F.P., a U.N. agency, last year.

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