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The World Health Organization has unanimously adopted a resolution, a first for any United Nations agency, demanding immediate humanitarian aid access and an end to the war in Gaza.

This resolution was passed during a special session of the WHO’s Executive Board on Sunday. The resolution emphasizes the urgent need for “immediate, sustained and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief, including the access of medical personnel.” It also calls on all parties to comply with international law about protecting civilians and medical staff in armed conflicts. This session marked only the seventh special meeting in the WHO’s 75-year history.

The Gaza crisis has escalated following an attack by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas on Israel, leading to severe humanitarian repercussions. Israel’s subsequent military response has resulted in significant casualties and widespread displacement, with the UN reporting that around 80% of Gaza’s population is facing critical shortages of essentials like food, water, and medicine. Amidst this, the United States vetoed a proposed UNSC resolution for a humanitarian ceasefire, further complicating the situation.

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WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the resolution is a foundation for further action. While addressing member states, Tedros said the resolution “does not resolve the crisis. But it is a platform on which to build. Without a ceasefire, there is no peace. And without peace, there is no health. I urge all Member States, especially those with the most influence, to work with urgency to bring an end to this conflict as soon as possible.”


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