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If bombs don’t kill children in Gaza, hunger might

22 December 2023, Emergencies

A humanitarian catastrophe of unimaginable suffering

Children in Gaza are being killed every day by bombs. Those who survive the fighting risk dying from hunger, disease and dehydration. The continued siege on Gaza and suspension of aid is cutting a critical lifeline to an already vulnerable population. Physical and mental health is being pushed beyond breaking point. Children in Gaza have nowhere safe to go. The targeting of civilians and weaponisation of aid  means we simply can’t reach children throughout Gaza at the scale we need to. Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is strictly prohibited under international law. Save the Children, along with organisations and individuals from more than 90 countries around the world, calls for a definitive ceasefire and unrestricted access to deliver humanitarian aid.

Donor support needed to respond 

Save the Children has been providing lifesaving assistance and essential support to Palestinian children impacted by the ongoing conflict since 1953 and have had a permanent presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1973. Our work stretches across the West Bank and Gaza. With the help of partner organisations, we deliver programs in resilience and economic generation, youth and child participation, Child Rights Governance (CRG), food assistance, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene interventions, education and child protection programmes including Child Friendly Spaces. 

However, following the significant escalation on 7 October 2023, our teams in the occupied Palestinian territory acted immediately to respond to children’s lifesaving needs. We have also been preparing our humanitarian teams in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon to ensure they are able to respond if this becomes a regional crisis. 

How we’re responding

While humanitarian access to Gaza has been limited and unpredictable, through local networks we have developed working in the region we are distributing supplies to shelters and households in Gaza. In addition to food, bottled water, and hygiene kits, Save the Children has supported our partners to distribute recreational kits and psychosocial support for children. With the help of donors we have also assisted partners in running recreational activities with children across 13 shelters in northern Gaza, and conducted an awareness-raising campaign about protective measures for unaccompanied and separated children.

In addition to these efforts, we have been helping to source spare parts necessary for repairing sanitation facilities in shelters, as well as conducting small-scale hygiene awareness sessions, helping families to stay as healthy as possible to stave off illness and disease. Finally, we have been providing multipurpose cash assistance and recreational kits to displaced families in the West Bank. 

How you can help

The situation in Gaza is a humanitarian catastrophe of unimaginable suffering. Our response is helping to deliver lifesaving assistance to children impacted by violence and displacement in Gaza.

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