UN estimates 17,000 Gaza children separated from families amid Israel’s war

6
UN estimates 17,000 Gaza children separated from families amid Israel’s war


At least 17,000 children in the Gaza Strip have been left unaccompanied or separated from their families nearly four months into Israel’s assault on the enclave, the United Nations children’s agency estimates.

Nearly all children in the strip also require mental health support, UNICEF said on Friday.

“Each [child] has a heartbreaking story of loss and grief,” said Jonathan Crickx, UNICEF’s chief of communication for the occupied Palestinian territories.

“This [17,000] figure corresponds to 1 percent of the overall displaced population – 1.7 million people,” he told a media briefing via video-link from Jerusalem, saying the number was an estimation as it is near impossible to verify information under current conditions.

Each one “is a child who is coming to terms with a horrible new reality”, he added.

Crickx said that tracing who the unaccompanied children were was proving “extremely difficult”, as they were sometimes brought to a hospital wounded or in shock, and “they simply can’t even say their names”.

He said that during conflicts, it was common for extended families to take care of children who lost their parents.

However, in Gaza, “due to the sheer lack of food, water or shelter, extended families are themselves distressed and face challenges to immediately take care of another child as they themselves are struggling to cater for their own children and family”, said Crickx.

Broadly, UNICEF terms separated children as those who are without their parents, while unaccompanied children are those who are separated and also without other relatives.

‘Almost all children’ need mental health support

Crickx also said the mental health of children in Gaza was being severely affected by the offensive, and that a million children in the Gaza Strip require mental health support.

Children in Gaza “present symptoms like extremely high levels of persistent anxiety, loss of appetite, they can’t sleep, they have emotional outbursts or panic every time they hear the bombings,” he explained.

Before the assault erupted, UNICEF estimated that more than 500,000 children in Gaza needed mental health and psycho-social support.

Now, it believes that “almost all children are in need” of such help. “That’s more than one million children,” Crickx said.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, Israeli attacks have killed more than 27,100 people in Gaza since the war began on October 7, around 11,500 of them children.

More than 66,200 others have been wounded amid a severe lack of medical supplies and functioning healthcare facilities. Thousands more are missing and are under the rubble.

With Israeli ground troops encircling most of northern, central, and eastern Gaza, families have been forced to flee their homes several times since the war began. Many are now crammed in the southern Rafah governorate, which Israel has said is its next target of attack.

Many who fled their homes have been shot at and arrested. Those who make it to the south often have no contact with their relatives or caregivers in other parts of the enclave, especially during times of communication blackouts.

“Children don’t have anything to do with this conflict. Yet they are suffering like no child should ever suffer,” said Crickx.

“No child should ever be exposed to the level of violence seen on October 7 – or to the level of violence that we have witnessed since then.”

He called for a ceasefire so that UNICEF can conduct a proper count of children who are unaccompanied or separated, trace relatives, and deliver mental health support.




Disasters Expo USA, is proud to be supported by Inergency for their next upcoming edition on March 6th & 7th 2024!

The leading event mitigating the world’s most costly disasters is returning to the Miami Beach

Convention Center and we want you to join us at the industry’s central platform for emergency management professionals.
Disasters Expo USA is proud to provide a central platform for the industry to connect and
engage with the industry’s leading professionals to better prepare, protect, prevent, respond
and recover from the disasters of today.
Hosting a dedicated platform for the convergence of disaster risk reduction, the keynote line up for Disasters Expo USA 2024 will provide an insight into successful case studies and
programs to accurately prepare for disasters. Featuring sessions from the likes of The Federal Emergency Management Agency,
NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, TSA and several more this event is certainly providing you with the knowledge
required to prepare, respond and recover to disasters.
With over 50 hours worth of unmissable content, exciting new features such as their Disaster
Resilience Roundtable, Emergency Response Live, an Immersive Hurricane Simulation and
much more over just two days, you are guaranteed to gain an all-encompassing insight into
the industry to tackle the challenges of disasters.
By uniting global disaster risk management experts, well experienced emergency
responders and the leading innovators from the world, the event is the hub of the solutions
that provide attendees with tools that they can use to protect the communities and mitigate
the damage from disasters.
Tickets for the event are $119, but we have been given the promo code: HUGI100 that will
enable you to attend the event for FREE!

So don’t miss out and register today: https://shorturl.at/aikrW

And in case you missed it, here is our ultimate road trip playlist is the perfect mix of podcasts, and hidden gems that will keep you energized for the entire journey

-

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More