The continued, suffocating, blockade, now approaching its 15th year, has affected every aspect of life in Gaza, severely limiting access to all essential services, while leaving more than a half-million children without access to safe drinking water.
Noura Erakat, human rights attorney and an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University, was recently quoted in the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, “We are now entering 2021, the fifteenth year of Israel’s naval blockade and land siege, and the global community seems unfazed by the unlivable conditions in the tiny coastal enclave…These conditions are unconscionable and have no moral, legal, or policy justification. The siege must end without preconditions and condemned to the history of atrocities never to be repeated again.”
With unemployment amongst the highest in the world, poverty rates hover above 56%. COVID has exasperated life for children further with schools closed and nearly 600,000 children lacking access to a reliable power supply and the internet, and no computer access. Many parents find the only alternative is to coordinate phone sessions with their teachers to receive their daily lessons.
After successive wars targeting the population in Gaza, post-traumatic stress disorder is common among children and now with lockdown, parents are finding their children afraid to socialize outside of their immediate family. Many in Gaza refer to it as a “double post-traumatic stress disorder.”
KinderUSA ended last year providing fresh food to families in desperate need amidst reports of children digging through garbage for food. Moving into the new year, we have already begun preparing for Ramadan incorporating female-owned farms who must care for their children and often, extended family, alone; a small scale rabbit farming project that will enlist men and women, providing them with income to care for their families; and a food processing project for female-headed households providing them with all the tools, skills, and education needed to start their own business.
This is a sampling of the work ahead we are able to do with your continued support. In the midst of the pandemic, our donors proved to be humanitarians bolding stating, the children in Palestine will not be forgotten. Working together, you empower families who want to support themselves with the goal of promoting the overall well-being of their children.
KinderUSA will continue to push for solutions that prioritize sustainability. Thank you for continuing to stand with the children in Palestine.