Statement by Adele Khodr, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa
“UNICEF welcomes the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and Israel after three days of heavy violence.
“Fifteen children were killed and 150 reportedly injured in the Gaza strip, as well as 14 children reportedly injured in Israel. When violence rages, it is children who pay the price. Beyond these figures, there are young lives. Many of them were cut short.
“The impact of such escalations is huge, and continues even after a ceasefire is in place, affecting children’s ability to realize their rights and continuing to expose children and families to risks.
“For many children, this was the fifth conflict they have lived through in the past 15 years. Many children are already living with the long-term psychological impact of continued exposure to violence.
“Due to the lack of fuel, electricity supply in the Gaza Strip has been reduced to only four hours per day, affecting essential, life-saving services. This includes water supply from wells and desalination plants, raising concerns over the availability of safe and clean water. We welcome this morning’s shipment of fuel and call for more of these crucial humanitarian deliveries to the Gaza Strip.
“UNICEF is on the ground delivering, with partners, emergency health supplies, enough to reach more than 50,000 affected people. We are providing mental health and psychosocial support and working to refer children and families to available protection services where required. UNICEF is working with partners for all children to go back to school safely at the end of August.
“UNICEF once again calls on all parties to reach a long-term political and peaceful solution to the decades-long conflict, for the sake of all children and their future”.