- World Vision calls for cease fire to hold to address the urgent needs of children
- Israel is to ease its blockade of Gaza to allow in aid and building materials
- Food, fuel, medical supplies and psychosocial support for children are most urgent, World Vision has provided aid to more than 55,000 people, but much more is needed
August 27, 2014. JERUSALEM – World Vision welcomes the truce, ending seven weeks of fighting that has left more than 2,168 people dead, 2,101 of them Palestinians. This conflict resulted in the loss of 493 innocent children and 253 women.
The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has risen to 475,000, more than a quarter of the entire Palestinian population of Gaza. Since 7 July, at least 140 Palestinian families in Gaza have had three or more members killed in the same incident.
“We have more than 10,000 people injured in Gaza during last weeks; many of them are in urgent need for medical support. The number of homeless people is also alarming,” said Alex Snary, National Director of World Vision’s work in Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza. “This truce gives us a corridor to provide humanitarian aid and support rebuilding Gaza.”
Since the start of the conflict World Vision helped about 26,000 people through distributions of food parcels and hygiene kits, and by providing fuel, medical supplies and bed sheets for hospitals. Children and families hosted in the community and in private schools remain largely unreached by child protection interventions. About 10,900 children are receiving psychosocial support in World Vision’s Child Friendly Spaces in addition to support for about 6,000 children that are residing in UNRWA schools and other shelters.
Children and communities in Gaza were already vulnerable due to the effects of more than five years of blockade; these last escalations elevated the humanitarian concerns to a catastrophic level. Today most of the Gaza schools, 216 in total, are damaged; children are deprived of the basic right of education. Population has to cope with severe shortages in water and power services which results in the increasing risk of disease outbreaks due to overcrowding in IDP refuges and hosting families.
“This agreed long-term cease-fire is a passage of humanitarian workers and items needed to run vital services,” said Snary. “But temporary cease-fire is not enough. We should work towards the peace efforts that lead to lifting the Gaza blockade completely.”
World Vision calls on both parties to fulfil their responsibilities under the conditions of the cease fire and fulfil the responsibility of protecting children and civilians and honour International Law.
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Notes to editors
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
World Vision believes the ongoing occupation and conflict has robbed generations of Palestinian and Israeli children of peace, justice, and hope for a future where fullness of life is possible.