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People in Gaza are 'wasting' from famine: World Food Programme director

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World Food Programme executive director Cindy McCain says people living in Gaza are “wasting” as famine concerns continue amid the war between Israel and Hamas.

“Our people on the ground have seen children wasting. They've seen adults wasting. They've seen children who have passed, adults who have passed, as a result of no food. It’s extremely important that we continue to do what we do and do it at scale,” McCain said in an exclusive Canadian interview with CTV News Channel's Power Play host Vassy Kapelos.

McCain’s comments come just one day after the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, said he is seeking international arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

According to Khan, his office has evidence that Israel used “starvation as a method of warfare.”

In a statement, Khan writes, “Notwithstanding any military goals they may have, the means Israel chose to achieve them in Gaza – namely, intentionally causing death, starvation, great suffering, and serious injury to body or health of the civilian population – are criminal.”

Khan is also applying for arrest warrants for Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, the commander-in-chief of Hamas's military wing Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri and Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas political bureau, for war crimes and crimes against humanity during and since the Oct. 7th attack against Israel.

When asked by Kapelos about her reaction to the potential arrest warrants, McCain says while her position is not political, she agrees that famine is either present or imminent in some areas of Gaza.

“We have seen the evidence of famine in the north, and there is severe starvation happening in the south as well. It’s a devastating situation,” McCain said.

While McCain says her organization is getting more access into Gaza to deliver aid, she also says “it’s still not enough.”

“I'm seriously hoping that the Israelis are going to allow us to get in even more trucks and food," said McCain. "This should have happened a long time ago because now famine is imminent."

McCain also stressed that the World Food Programme, which is a United Nations agency, does not “take sides” in these types of conflicts.

“The side that we take is of those who are receiving our food and that's who I care about are the people that are on the ground that we need to feed,” McCain said.

You can catch the full, exclusive interview with WFP executive director Cindy McCain this Tuesday on CTV Power Play at 5PET / 2PM PT.  

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