Cindy McCain on conditions in Gaza: ‘We need food and we need it now’

March 22, 2024

Cindy McCain, executive director of the United Nations’s World Food Programme (WFP), said Friday that there is an urgent need for food in Gaza amid the war occurring there.

“[O]ur obstacles are many,” McCain said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” Friday. “We have to be cleared at every level, the Israelis block the — whether or not we’re cleared … drivers are cleared, we don’t have the access on the roads. We need clear, unfettered access to get in at scale, so we can feed the millions of people who are on the verge of famine.”

“We don’t need vetoes, we need food and we need it now,” McCain continued.

The United Nations Security Council rejected a U.S.-backed resolution Friday calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and the release of hostages taken by Hamas, following Russia and China voting against it. 

Eleven were in favor, three votes were against and there was one abstention for the final vote on the resolution. Russia and China have veto power as permanent members of the Security Council. The proposal connected a cease-fire and humanitarian aid efforts in war-torn Gaza to a need to release all hostages. 

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya expressed worries about the resolution, saying it would head off action that would ensure an actual and unconditional cease-fire.

“We will no longer tolerate pointless resolutions which do not contain a call for a cease-fire, which lead us to nowhere,” he said. “This would free the hands of Israel, and it would result in all of Gaza, its entire population, having to face destruction, devastation or expulsion.”

In November, McCain said Gaza was “on the brink of famine” as the war between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas raged on.

“First of all, the — the bottom line here is that we need to get more aid in as — as has been said, we’re looking at … possibly being on the brink of famine in this region,” McCain said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “This is something that … will spread. And with that comes disease and — and everything else that you can imagine.”