In relation to competing claims (by COGAT vs IPC) about the number of food trucks that were entering Gaza before the war (i.e. leaving aside here that they also disagree about the number during the war--meaning since October), while I was able to find prior Israeli government studies on this on first page of my google searches, I could not easily find something like that from the UN/IPC. I suspect the IPC didn't concern itself with this issue in the past years because there was no concern about not enough food in Gaza then. But did any other UN agencies keep track of and publish this figure before October, meaning the number of food trucks per day, as opposed to the total number of aid trucks entering? (FWTW, the IPC claims that the number of food trucks per day before the war was 150, COGAT put it at around 70.)

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    For a fair comparison, you would need to also compare the local food production inside Gaza. A few weeks ago I heard a radio interview with a WFP official claiming that agriculture had virtually come to a standstill, leading to a critical shortage of high-quality food like fresh produce.
    – ccprog
    Commented Apr 7 at 11:44
  • @ccprog: yes, they would need more trucks go in now than before the war, to compensate for that. But the very fact that the pre-war number is (so) disputed is interesting in itself. Commented Apr 7 at 11:53
  • Another thing to take in account is this UN claim @ Hurriyet : He pointed out that the trucks screened by COGAT were "typically only half-full. That is a requirement that they have put in place for screening purposes". So it depends on the specifics of what's being counted. Commented Apr 9 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


At least OCHA (Office of Humanitarian assistance) did. In fact, the COGAT rebuttal of the IPC report specifically mentions that as

According to OCHA's dashboard, between January and September 2023, a total 27,434 trucks carrying food entered Gaza through all crossings, which is a daily average of 100 trucks per day (273 days).

Getting that precise number (27,434) from OCHA requires a bit of gymnastics. OCHA has disclaimer on top that data for 2023 that one has to refer to separate 'snapshots' from October onwards, but (presently) the interactive dataset actually has the breakdown for the subsequent months as well, so the disclaimer is probably outdated. Above COGAT appears to have included/allowed in that figure all types of food (meaning animal feed & livestock too) but excluded the months of Oct-Dec. (Exact arithmetic: 32322 - (929 + 1737 + 2222) = 27434.) If one does exactly the same calculation for "human food products" only, the resulting number is 20561 [= 25303 - (789 + 1737 + 2216)], which gives only 75.3 "human food products" truck per day in the same 273-day period. So, that perhaps explains the earlier COGAT claims (from Jan) that the value was around 70.

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If one looks at 2022 instead, for which no months have to be excluded, OCHA reported 35301 food trucks (incl. animal feed & livestock), so [dividing by 365 gives] 96.71 trucks per day. Or if only "human food products" are considered, just 26554 trucks, giving per day value of 72.75 trucks for 2022.

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Note that for sources OCHA doesn't seem to rely on COGAT (or Hamas' ministries), but claim as source: "Ministry of National Economy, Border and Crossing Authority, UNRWA and Pal-Trade, Palestinian General Authority of Civil Affairs", i.e. more or less UNRWA and the PA.

On thing that did seem somewhat odd to me in OCHA's data is how little of this food was actually aid: only 14% of the food truckloads in 2022 (19% in 2023), with the rest being commercial.

But anyhow, OCHA's data for 2022 comes with a human summary/writeup by OCHA itself. (This doesn't include any per-day calculations though.)

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Overall, 106,449 truckloads of imported goods were allowed to enter Gaza through any of the borders. This is about 12 per cent above the 95,335 truckloads that entered in 2021 and slightly higher the annual average of 106,369 truckloads that entered between 2015 and 2021.

Up to 50 per cent of the supplies were of construction materials, including aggregates, steel bars and cement, and 25 per cent of the deliveries contained food. Another 4 per cent (3,936 truckloads) carried humanitarian aid facilitated by international organizations, including food and medical supplies.

Note that fuel is excluded from that pie chart and is accounted for separately in litres rather than truckload.

So, anyhow, COGAT shot back at IPC OCHA's data in that respect. Why OCHA and several IPC reports (I checked out the one from Dec too) disagree on this pre-war figure, I don't know. The COGAT rebuttal/report itself wondered, but had no explanation. So, by that I'm guessing they imply that OCHA was fairly correctly accounting for all the imports (and IPC wasn't).

N.B.: based on a related controversy, it looks like OCHA's own reporting of such figures is per working day, at least since October. So, if one accepts the 100 truckloads per day figure from above (i.e. including animal feed), converted to working days by multiplying with 7/5, gives 140 truckloads per working day. (Alas, the word 'working' didn't make it in the vast majority of the press reporting on these issues.)

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