People are suffering in Gaza as a result of incessant wars, a strangulating blockade of land, sea, and air now approaching its 12th year, and an occupation of over 50 years. The infrastructure of Gaza has been decimated leaving 97% of the water undrinkable, 4 hours of electricity a day affecting every aspect of life, and unemployment one of the highest in the world. More than 40% of Gazan’s are food insecure with 80% relying on aid just to survive according the UNRWA. With the recent cuts to funding of both UNRWA and USAID to Palestine, education, healthcare, shelter, and food support will be worsened pushing families further to the edge.
Children in Gaza are at risk of anemia, folic acid and vitamin deficiencies, hypertension, chronic dehydration leading to liver failure, and a host of physical, cognitive, and behavioral problems that could affect their entire lives. Many more children and adults suffer from chronic malnourishment without visible symptoms or any awareness of the short and long-term damage being done to them — and to Gaza’s future.
The right to receive, and the obligations to provide, food, nutrition and medical care in an emergency are enshrined in humanitarian law.
Of the families at risk, many face daily challenges to access food and clean water with parents uncertain how to provide. Bottled water is out of reach for most, leaving contaminated water as their only option. Many skip meals, take on debt and look to support from neighbors and friends in order to feed their children. While children are the most visible victims of chronic malnutrition, women also suffer acutely. Pregnancies in particular take a toll on women’s bodies, and many mothers prioritize their children and husband’s food needs over their own.
KinderUSA has just completed its Emergency Food Distribution and now preparing for Ramadan food distribution. Food assistance and all other forms of support are now more critical than ever to avert a deepening humanitarian crisis. It is our collective responsibility to continue to provide the population much-needed assistance. Gaza, like the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory, desperately needs a just and lasting political solution.
“The children in Gaza carry the brunt of this inhumanity. When we fail our children in need and at risk, the cost is too high to bear. It is not a question of resources or know-how. We have a universal code of human rights, with specific obligations to children. Let’s do our job,” Dr. Laila Al-Marayati, Chairperson ofKinderUSA.
Please consider making an online tax-deductible contribution of $25, $50, $100, or whatever is meaningful to you. Many employers match employee gifts to KinderUSA which is a way to double your donation. Thank you for sharing our compassion for the children.