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Alternative Aid Delivery In Gaza: Children Do Not Have Time To Wait - Save The Children

Children in Gaza dying from starvation and disease cannot wait for the time it may take to build a temporary port off the Strip, or for the hope that aid dropped out of planes will reach them, Save the Children said.

While welcoming efforts to provide more aid into Gaza, these alternative methods of aid delivery are costly, inefficient, and a distraction from the critical solution to save the lives of children and families in Gaza: an immediate, definitive ceasefire and safe, unfettered humanitarian aid access through all border crossings and within the Strip.

So far, the Ministry of Health in Gaza has recorded 18 child and two adult deaths from malnutrition and dehydration. With healthcare facilities barely functioning and only a minority of families able to access any services, this is the tip of the iceberg, Save the Children said. In February, Save the Children reported that families were forced to forage for scraps of food left by rats and eat leaves out of desperation to survive.

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Jason Lee, Country Director for Save the Children in the occupied Palestinian territory, said:

" Children in Gaza cannot wait to eat. They are already dying from malnutrition and saving their lives is a matter of hours or days - not weeks.

"The denial of humanitarian assistance is a Grave Violation against children and is against international humanitarian law. For months, we have been calling for safe, unfettered access throughout all of Gaza.

"There is already a tried and tested system in place to effectively co-ordinate aid, but trucks of food and medicines that could save lives are waiting at crossings, while children are starving just miles away. Airdrops, with no on-the-ground co-ordination of who it reaches, and maritime corridors like the one announced yesterday are no solutions to keep children alive. Neither are substitutes for unimpeded humanitarian assistance via the established land routes.

"The Government of Israel and members of the international community must facilitate immediate entry of both humanitarian and commercial goods across all available border crossings, and throughout the Gaza strip.

"For children in Gaza, every minute counts. We need a definitive ceasefire now, and in the meantime, we need immediate unhindered humanitarian access across all available routes."

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