Family For EveryChild is extremely concerned about the worsening situation in the Middle East.
About half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population are children. Since 7 October, they have lived under constant bombardment, with many packed into temporary shelters in UN-run schools after fleeing their homes with little access to food or clean water and other basic services.
Since October, over 4,000 children have been reported as killed and a further 1,270 children missing.
The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said that “Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children. Hundreds of girls and boys are reportedly being killed or injured every day,” and reiterated the clear violations of international humanitarian law. 40 Israeli children are being held hostage by Hamas and a further 30 were killed in the 7th October attacks.
Family is deeply concerned for the physical and emotional safety, protection and wellbeing of children across the region. Current hostilities are exposing children to extremely traumatic episodes while stripping away options to help them cope. There is no safe place, no sense of security and no routine, with thousands displaced from their homes. Caregivers experiencing their own stress are struggling to help children cope with the overwhelming emotional reactions typical of young people traumatised by violence.
We condemn the killing of civilians – especially children – in the strongest possible terms. Children are always the most vulnerable in every conflict and must be protected. They have the right to a life free from violence and to live in peace.
The number of casualties continues to rise. Homes, hospitals and other infrastructure essential to childhood are being destroyed. These are all grave violations of children’s rights.
The current crisis has exacerbated the already-critical mental health crisis for children in the region with far-reaching consequences, as mental health services and assistance are cut off.
We are calling for a ceasefire and for the conflict to end immediately and urgently. You can support our appeal for the Middle East here.