Statement of World Food Program USA CEO on Gaza Conflict

Photo: WFP/Mostafa Ghroz/2023
Published December 4, 2023

Washington, D.C. (December 4, 2023) – Last week’s temporary pause in hostilities between Hamas and Israel played a significant role in the ability of the United Nations World Programme (WFP) to deliver much needed food to more than 250,000 human beings and facilitated the entry of 7.6 metric tons of humanitarian assistance.

Far too many conflicts exist today including, but certainly not limited to, the war between Israel and Hamas. The war in Ukraine was the headline for much of 2023. These forgotten wars claim countless lives, particularly those of women and children, every single day.

We must consistently remind the world that humanitarian international law is a set of rules and obligations for the parties that seek to limit the effects of armed conflict. It requires, among other things, the rapid and unimpeded passage for humanitarian aid during times of war.

Humanitarian pauses do not allow for the scale of lifesaving operations needed to avert starvation and the rebuilding of collapsed food infrastructure. Political leaders around the world must come together to solve these conflicts that are taking the lives of far too many innocent civilians.

As the President and CEO of World Food Program USA, while condemning the horrific loss of life in Israel after the attacks by Hamas, I add my voice to join the United Nations and the U.N. World Food Programme’s call for all parties to adhere to international law and call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire as essential to prevent further suffering and death in both Gaza and Israel. This call to action is for safe, unimpeded and sustained passage for humanitarian aid.

Upholding international law must be enforced worldwide. No exceptions. Now it is the time to use our voices to amplify this crucial message to leaders across the globe.