World Food Programme Director Cindy McCain Says Northern Gaza Experiencing ‘Full-Blown’ Famine

Cindy McCain called for a ceasefire and for the WFP to have 'unfettered access' to Gaza

The head of the UN’s World Food Programme has said northern Gaza is experiencing a “full-blown famine” that is moving south, which is a result of the US-backed Israeli blockade and bombing campaign.

“Whenever you have conflicts like this, and emotions rage high, and things happen in a war, famine happens,” Cindy McCain, the widow of Senator John McCain, told NBC News.

“What I can explain to you is — is that there is famine — full-blown famine — in the north, and it’s moving its way south. And so, what we’re asking for, and what we’ve continually asked for, is for a ceasefire and the ability to have unfettered access,” she added.

Humanitarian organizations have not officially declared famine, but McCain reaffirmed her view that there was already a “full-blown famine” when asked by the host, saying it was based on what the WFP has seen on the ground. “It’s horror. It’s – You know, it’s so hard to look at and it’s so hard to hear, also,” she said.

McCain is the second notable aid official to say that famine is already occurring in Gaza. Last month, Samantha Power, head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), said she believed famine was already occurring in parts of northern Gaza.

Despite the admission from a high-level US official, the US has continued to back the Israeli slaughter and starvation of Palestinians, and President Biden is refusing to call for a ceasefire that’s not attached to a hostage deal.

Israel has said it’s taken some steps to increase the flow of aid into Gaza, but aid officials say it’s not nearly enough. The restrictions on aid violate US law that prohibits military assistance to countries that block deliveries of humanitarian assistance, but that has not stopped Biden from continuing to ship weapons.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said Sunday that at least 34,683 Palestinians have been killed in the US-backed slaughter since October 7. The number does not include thousands who are missing under the rubble, and it’s unclear how many have died of malnutrition caused by the siege.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.