New research reveals that food aid delivered to Gaza via Israel between January and April 2024 has improved in both quantity and nutritional quality. The study shows that the aid meets the international Sphere nutritional standards for energy, protein,  and fat.

Jerusalem, Israel — In the wake of the 'Swords of Iron' War, which erupted following the attack on Israeli southern communities on October 7, 2023, public health has been significantly impacted in both Israel and Gaza. International humanitarian agencies have expressed concerns about severe food insecurity and the looming threat of famine in Gaza. Addressing accusations that Israel has intentionally deprived Gaza of food, recent research highlights Israel's and the international donors' efforts to facilitate food aid to Gaza.

Prof. Aron Troen from the Hebrew University, Prof. Dorit Nitzan from Ben Gurion University, Dr. Naomi Fliss-Isakov from Tel Aviv University, Prof. Ronit Endevelt from Haifa University and their team have conducted a comprehensive study to assess the quantity and nutritional composition of the food aid delivered to Gaza and evaluate its compliance with the Sphere standards, which are internationally recognized benchmarks for humanitarian response.

Methodology: The study analyzed the information provided by international donors to Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) regarding their food aid shipments to Gaza which were delivered through the Kerem Shalom and Nitzana land crossings, and by airdrops, between January and April 2024. Each food item was categorized and quantified, and its nutrient composition was assessed based on food composition databases. The researchers calculated the total energy (kcal), protein (grams), fat (grams), and iron (mg) content of all shipments, dividing these sums by the estimated population size reported by the Gaza Central Bureau of Statistics. The daily per capita supply was then compared to Sphere standards.

Key findings from the study include:

Volume of Aid: Between January and April 2024, COGAT facilitated the entry of 14,916 trucks carrying 227,854 tons of food into Gaza, averaging 3,729 food trucks per month (124 per day). There was a continuous mean increase of 431 trucks per month.

Growth in Shipments: The weight of food shipments increased by 57% over the study period, with significant increases in specific food groups such as nuts and seeds (1435.7%), fruit (2,851%), vegetables (2,657%), dairy and eggs (934%), potatoes (662%), and chicken, fish, and meat (92%).

Nutritional Content: The average per capita daily nutritional availability was 3,374 kcal of energy, 101 grams of protein (12.1% of energy), 80.6 grams of fat (21.5% of energy), and 25.2 mg of iron. These figures meet or exceed the Sphere standards for the population's dietary needs.

Prof. Troen noted, "The food aid energy,  protein, and fat availability align well with Sphere standards. The steady improvement of the iron supply, reaching Sphere standards by April, is particularly encouraging."

Prof. Nitzan added, "The quantity and quality of food delivered by the international donors through Israel to Gaza have steadily improved since January 2024. Our findings suggest that the current food supply contains sufficient energy and protein and fat for the population’s needs. However, further studies are needed to investigate food distribution and population access to humanitarian aid."

The research underscores the importance of reliable data in supporting ongoing humanitarian efforts and improving food security outcomes in conflict-affected areas.

The research paper titled “Nutritional Assessment of Food Aid delivered to Gaza via Israel during the 'Swords of Iron' War” is currently under peer-review.


Naomi Fliss-Isakov1,2,3, Dorit Nitzan4, Moran Blaychfeld Magnazi3,5, Joseph Mendlovic3,6 Sharon Alroy Preis3, Gilad Twig 3,7,8, Aron M. Troen9, Ronit Endevelt3,10



1.     Department of Health Promotion, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

2.     The Gertner Institute for Epidemiology & Health Policy Research, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan

3.     Israel Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, Israel

  1. Master's Program in Emergency Medicine, School of Public Health, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
  2. Hebrew University of Jerusalem – Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

6.     Department of Pediatrics, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, affiliated with the Hadassah University School of Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel

  1. The Institute of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan, Israel
  2. Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
  3. Institute of Biochemistry Food and Nutrition Science, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel

10. Faculty of Welfare and Health, School of Public Health University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel