All of us at KinderUSA send our warmest wishes for a blessed Eid al Adha!
During this Eid, we want to bring to your attention a health crisis in Gaza affecting children of all ages.
Child malnutrition in Gaza has doubled in the last year and continues to increase as a result of the devastating effects of the ongoing blockade. Unemployment is at a staggering 49% (women 71%)- the world’s highest –wreaking havoc on households and devastating the economy. Parents do not have the money to put food on the table for their children. “Many families wait for neighbors to help and relief agencies. There is not much they can do, so they wait,” reports Hana, KinderUSA Country coordinator.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), families are not receiving enough iron rich foods resulting in high rates of anemia. The WHO further reports that “more than 6 percent of infants have never been breastfed, and more than 55 percent of infants are not exclusively breastfeeding.” Mothers do not have the nourishment to lactate and many suffer anemia during pregnancy ultimately relying on relief agencies to provide infant formula after giving birth.
“Breastfeeding is known to increase immunity and protect infants from certain infections as well as reduce their exposure to water-borne illnesses causing diarrhea,” said Dr. Laila Al-Marayati, Chair of KinderUSA. “The forced siege of Gaza is disabling the population, preventing women even from nourishing their own children with breastmilk. While the world focuses on advancing breastfeeding in places like Africa to protect children, we are watching a deliberate policy undermine those very efforts in Gaza. ”
KinderUSA continues to provide sustainable meals to children in summer camp and during the school year with our nutritional meals program which kicks off in September.
Until the blockade ends, babies will continue to be born into homes without food and at risk of disease. Gazans are being prevented from supporting themselves and even international aid is not making much of a difference. The blockade must end.
This Eid, please help us provide sustenance and hope to the families in Gaza and consider making a donation today: $25, $50, $100 or whatever is meaningful to you.