World Vision welcomes Gaza ceasefire agreement
Food, fuel, medical supplies and psychosocial support for children are most urgent needs
JERUSALEM (August 27, 2014) – World Vision welcomes the recent ceasefire in the Gaza conflict, which has ended seven weeks of fighting that has left almost 2,200 people dead, including the loss of 493 innocent children.
The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has risen to 460,000, more than a quarter of the entire Palestinian population of Gaza. Since early July, at least 140 Palestinian families in Gaza have had three or more members killed in a single attack.
“We have more than 10,000 people injured in Gaza during last weeks; many of them are in urgent need for medical support. The number of homeless people is also alarming,” said Alex Snary, National Director of World Vision’s work in Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza. “This truce gives us a corridor to provide humanitarian aid and support rebuilding Gaza.”
More than 200 schools in Gaza have been damaged during this most recent conflict, which has meant that children are deprived of the basic right of education. In addition, the population is coping with severe shortages of water and electricity, which increases the risks of disease outbreaks due to overcrowding in shelters and hosting families.
Since the start of the conflict, World Vision helped about 26,000 people through distributions of food parcels and hygiene kits, and by providing fuel, medical supplies and bed sheets for private hospitals. Children and families hosted in the community and in private schools remain largely unreached by child protection interventions. About 10,900 children are receiving psychosocial support in World Vision’s Child-friendly Spaces in addition to support for about 6,000 children that are residing in UNRWA schools and other shelters.
“This agreed long-term ceasefire provides a chance for humanitarian workers to bring into Gaza the materials needed to run vital services,” said Snary. “But this temporary ceasefire is not enough. Both sides need to take part in efforts that lead to a durable settlement, which respects the desire of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace.”
World Vision calls on both parties to fulfil their responsibilities under the conditions of the ceasefire and to protect civilians, particularly children, as outlined in international humanitarian laws.
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