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

 


Palestinian Children in Need of 'Psycho-Social First Aid'

Gaza: UN Says Over 370,000 Palestinian Children in Need of 'Psycho-Social First Aid'

Seven-year-old Maha, who is paralyzed down the neck following an airstrike in Gaza, was allowed to leave Gaza on 20 August 2014 and is on her way to a hospital in Turkey to seek adequate treatment. Photo: UNICEF/Eyad El Baba

21 August 2014

The top UNICEF field officer in Gaza reported today that at least nine more Palestinian children have been killed there in the last 48 hours, bringing the total to 469 since early July, saying that there is not a single family in the tiny enclave that has not been touched by the current violence.

“The impact is has truly been vast, both at a very physical level, in terms of casualties, injuries, the infrastructure that's been damaged, but also importantly, emotionally and psychologically in terms of the destabilizing impact that not knowing, not truly feeling like there is anywhere safe place to go in Gaza,” Pernilla Ironside, Chief of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Gaza field office told a press conference today at UN Headquarters.

There isn’t a single family in Gaza who hasn’t experienced personally death, injury, the loss of their home, extensive damage, displacement

“Children need to have that sense of security,” she added.

“All they want is a sense of safety,” continued Ms. Ironside, referring to the children of Gaza where nearly 280,000 people fled overnight in 83 UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools in search of safety. “They basically just want it to stop. 'Khalas.'”

She noted that at least nine more Palestinian children were killed as of this morning in the last 48 hours out of a total of 469 since 8 July. In addition, more than 3,000 Palestinian children have been injured. Her office, UNICEF Palestine, reported that 219 schools had been damaged by airstrikes and shelling, 22 completely destroyed.

“There isn't a single family in Gaza who hasn't experienced personally death, injury, the loss of their home, extensive damage, displacement,” she said.

UNICEF has 50 psychologists and counsellors in Gaza reaching out to children directly impacted by loss. They have reached 3,000, but the needs are “staggering” as parents are also in a state of trauma, Ms. Ironside said, noting that today 373,000 Palestinian children need “immediate psycho-social first aid.”

Another priority for UNICEF in Gaza is a “massive back-to-school campaign”, as August 24 is the start date for children to go back to school.

Ms. Ironside outlined a few of the myriad challenges – from dealing with the severe school shortages as a result of damage or because they are being used as shelters, to equipping affected teachers with coping skills to be able to provide nurturing environment for traumatized children.

As an illustration of the magnitude of damaged caused, she said it could take 18 years to rebuild the 17,000 housing units damaged during the current conflict.

As renewed violence earlier this week signalled the end of the latest Gaza ceasefire, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed grave disappointment at the return to hostilities and urged the parties to “reach an immediate understanding on a durable ceasefire which also addresses the underlying issues.”

Meanwhile, the head of the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory, Ramesh Rajasingham, also called today for an immediate cease-fire, and emphasized that Gaza civilians cannot keep moving between their homes and shelters each time conflict renews.

In the long run, he said, a permanent halt in violence stemming from a durable cease-fire is crucial to mitigating the humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


21 Egyptians Beheaded

Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. More>>

Protests In Bil’in Honoring Slain US Citizens

Protesters at demonstration in Bil’in honoring slain US citizens face attacks and arrests by Israeli forces. More>>

Resolution Targeting Sources Of Financing For ISIL

Ambassadors representing two countries under attack from ISIL, Bashar Ja’afari (right) of Syria, and Mohamed Ali Alhakim of Iraq, speak to journalists following the adoption of a Security Council resolution targeting sources of financing for ... More>>

ALSO:

  • U.S. Department of State - Support for Authorization for Use of Military Force
  • "Pakistan Probably Harboured Osama Bin Laden"

    Former ISI head Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani tells Al Jazeera Pakistan probably harboured Osama Bin Laden More>>

    "Pakistan Probably Harboured Osama Bin Laden"

    Former ISI head Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani tells Al Jazeera Pakistan probably harboured Osama Bin Laden More>>

    ISM Honours Kayla Mueller

    Abdullah Abu Rahma, coordinator of the popular committee in the village of Bil’in where Kayla joined the protests, told ISM: “Kayla came to Palestine to stand in solidarity with us. She marched with us and faced the military that occupies our ... More>>


    US Measles Outbreak: UN Urges Parents Vaccinate Children

    3 February 2015 – Parents in the United States must vaccinate their children against measles in order to maintain the high levels of immunity necessary in keeping outbreaks of the aggressively contagious virus small and contained, the United Nations World ... More>>

    Ebola: Large-Scale Vaccine Trials Under Way In Liberia

    WHO welcomed the donation by the Public Health Agency of Canada of 800 vials of one of the leading candidate Ebola vaccines, rVSV-ZEBOV. Photo: WHO/M. Missioneiro (file) More>>

    Security Council Denounce Murder Of Jordanian Pilot

    3 February 2015 – For the second time in as many days, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Security Council have jointly condemned the brutal killing of a civilian by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – this time deploring ... More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news