UNICEF: Aid for Gaza's Children
New York - As the conflict on the ground in Gaza escalates, UNICEF is appealing for $16 million in new funding to provide families and children with emergency supplies.
“We have a fairly good idea of what are the needs, but we desperately need more resources, especially from UNICEF national committees and their donor partners,” said Director of Emergency Operations Louis-Georges Arsenault. UNICEF today managed to deliver 30,000 bottles of water from the West Bank to Gaza, where safe-water supplies are dangerously low. In addition, 500 family kits for water purification were delivered into Gaza from the Israeli port of Ashdod.
UNICEF is also gravely concerned about the mental health of children who now have endured more than two weeks of conflict. Teams are ready to be deployed to meet their psychosocial needs.
“You have a situation where there are no bomb shelters in Gaza, to speak of,” said Mr. Arsenault. “The UN facilities were not built to suffer so much bombing, so there is just nowhere to go. The trauma of the children is not only for the coming days. It may be for a lifetime.”
As the number of children being killed, injured or traumatized in the fighting continues to climb, the humanitarian situation in Gaza is becoming more desperate every day.
UNICEF has 10,000 staff working around the world in a wide range of environments. Ten staff members have remained in Gaza throughout the two week crisis there, working in very difficult and dangerous conditions in an effort to bring some relief to children in need.
Click here to read telephone interview with Sajy, a Reporting Officer in West Gaza, telling of conditions on the ground Saturday - being the worst in memory - either his, or that of much older Gazans.