Children in extreme danger
Children in the Middle East are currently enduring extreme suffering. Several thousand have been killed or injured, many are missing and have probably been buried under the ruins of destroyed buildings. More than 1,5 million people have been displaced within the Gaza Strip, half of whom are women and children.
Children bear the brunt of conflict
In both Israel and Palestine, the daily lives of children are currently marked by violence and fear. Yet they bear no responsibility for this situation. While we all know how politically complex and personally conflicting this situation can be, UNICEF’s position is very clear: we stand by the children. For us, protecting children and their rights is an absolute priority, regardless of where they come from or who they are.
Attacks on civilians and vital infrastructure
Nearly a million children in the Gaza Strip are currently in extreme distress. Not only is the shelling threatening their lives, but attacks on civil infrastructure are also becoming an ever-growing problem. Vital services have largely been interrupted.
“A child is a child. Children everywhere must be protected at all times and must never come under Attack.”UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell
Lack of basic supplies and essential services
Hospitals have come under fire and are used as shelters; medical care has collapsed. Drinking water and basic foodstuffs are extremely scarce and access for humanitarian aid remains difficult. Due to the lack of fuel, there is no water pumping, no wastewater treatment, and no solid waste management. Overall hygiene is deteriorating, and the risk of serious disease outbreaks has increased.
Delivery of life-saving supplies
UNICEF is calling for a humanitarian ceasefire and immediate unrestricted access for humanitarian aid. Since the end of October, we have been trucking supplies into the Gaza Strip from Egypt. We are equipping hospitals with medical supplies such as medicines and bandages and are delivering water to hospitals as well as emergency shelters. However, there is still an enormous need for emergency supplies.
Provision of psychosocial support
Following the attacks on Israel and the countless bombardments of the Gaza Strip, children on both sides have sustained physical and mental injuries. Providing children with immediate psychosocial support is now crucial. UNICEF offers this support to children as well as leisure activities to help them cope with their experiences.
In this war, as in all wars, it is above all children who pay the price of conflict. UNICEF is calling for an immediate humanitarian pause and secure access to establish and guarantee the continuity of vital services for children.