World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Reality of Gaza destruction haunts families and children

Reality of Gaza destruction haunts families and children amid ceasefire

8 August 2014

As the three-day ceasefire in Gaza draws to a close, families are struggling to cope with the aftermath of 28 days of violence and destruction that has left an estimated 65,000 people homeless.

Vivien Maidaborn, Executive Director at UNICEF NZ said, “Children in Gaza have witnessed unthinkable horrors and no family has been left untouched by this crisis.

“Basic needs like food and water as well as psychosocial support are urgently needed to help children and families cope with the trauma they are experiencing,” Ms Maidaborn added.

"Of the last three conflicts in Gaza, this has been the longest, deadliest and most destructive," said June Kunugi, UNICEF Representative in the State of Palestine. "Its human and material toll is beyond words."

More than one fourth of Gaza's residents were displaced during the latest conflict. The three-day ceasefire allowed families to visit their homes, but many had to return to collective shelters when the full extent of the damage to their houses became apparent.

Overcrowding at UN-run shelters, many of them schools, is making it difficult to provide these families with basic needs and clean conditions to prevent the spread of diseases. Diarrhoea and skin diseases among children are on the rise.

Basic services are severely disrupted. Access to water is constrained for 1.5
million people and the lack of electricity is affecting water distribution, sanitation and health services. UNICEF is currently assisting with the restoration of critical water supplies and access.

Around 400,000 children are showing symptoms of distress, including bed wetting, clinging to parents and nightmares, and need psychosocial support. Half of Gaza's 1.8 million people are children under the age of 18.

From the very first days of the current escalation, UNICEF-supported emergency psychosocial teams have been deployed to provide initial psychosocial support to affected children, reaching 1,870 children across the Gaza Strip so far.

To improve conditions in collective shelters, UNICEF, in partnership with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, distributed adult hygiene kits, baby hygiene kits, jerry cans, and blankets. Plans are under way to provide clothing items for children and women.

"The uphill struggle to heal children's physical and psychological wounds and restore Gaza's demolished infrastructure is a gargantuan task," Kunugi said.

According to UNICEF's latest verified figures, at least 429 children were killed in the last month as a result of airstrikes and shelling, an indication of the devastating toll that the latest escalation of violence has taken on Gaza's youngest and most vulnerable.

Since the ceasefire went into effect on Monday morning, no additional child deaths have been recorded.

At least 2,744 children have also been reported injured. Some of the young victims, who suffered debilitating injuries for which no treatment is available in Gaza, need to be referred for treatment outside the coastal enclave.

Ms Maidaborn added, “We continue to urge New Zealanders to show their support for the children of Gaza by donating online at www.unicef.org.nz/Gaza or by texting HELP to 2923 to donate $3 so that we can get urgently needed supplies to those that require them most.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>

Palestine: Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahmah Found Guilty

Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma was found guilty by an Israeli military court of “disturbing a soldier”. More>>

NCRI: Iran: 13 Executions In One Day

The henchmen of the clerical regime hanged 13 prisoners on Sunday October 19, 2014 in Ghezel-Hessar Karaj Prison, Tabriz Central Prison and Rasht Central Prison. More>>


MSF: Ebola Crisis Update - 16th October 2014

16 October 2014 Cases Deaths Guinea 1,472 843 Liberia 4,249 2,458 Nigeria 20 8 Sierra Leone 3,252 1,183 Senegal 1 0 Total 8,994 4,492 WHO Figures - Data are based on official information reported by Ministries of Health. These numbers are subject to change ... More>>

ALSO:

Detroit: City-Backed Water Shut-Offs Contrary To Human Rights

20 October 2014 – The city of Detroit must restore access to water for its citizens who remain unable to pay their bills, two United Nations experts urged today, adding that a failure to do so would be a violation of the most basic human rights of those ... More>>

ALSO:

DR Congo: Head Of UN Mission Condemns Deadly Rebel Attacks

A MONUSCO APC is greeted by FARDC soldiers on their way back from the front line in the Beni region of the DRC where the UN is backing the FARDC in an operation against ADF militia. Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti More>>

UNESCO Chief Denounces Killing Of Cambodian Journalist

17 October 2014 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of a Cambodian reporter shot while investigating illegal logging in the eastern part of the country. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news