Wed 22 Nov 2023 8:48 pm - Jerusalem Time

UNICEF: Gaza has become “the most dangerous place in the world for children”

The Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) confirmed on Wednesday that the Gaza Strip has become "the most dangerous place in the world for children."

UNICEF Executive Director, Catherine Russell, said in a speech before the UN Security Council after her visit to the southern Gaza Strip, that “more than 5,300 children were killed in just 46 days, that is, 115 children every day over weeks and weeks.”

She added, "According to these numbers, children constitute 40% of the deaths in Gaza. This is unprecedented. In other words, the Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world for children."

She also noted the loss of 1,200 children, some of whom are likely still under the rubble left by the bombing.

Beyond the direct victims of the Israeli war on Gaza, Russell expressed her concern about the epidemiological dangers, the near absence of drinking water, especially for infants, and the effects of malnutrition.

She warned that "the children of Gaza are living in a state of extreme danger due to catastrophic living conditions. One million children, all the children of the Strip, face food insecurity that could soon turn into a catastrophic crisis linked to malnutrition."

Russell continued, "We see that in the coming months, the most dangerous form of malnutrition for children's lives may increase by about 30% in Gaza."

She stressed that "for children to survive, and for humanitarian teams to be able to stay and move, humanitarian truces are simply not enough," while welcoming the announced agreement between Israel and Hamas to release hostages held in Gaza in exchange for a four-day truce.

She added, "UNICEF calls for an urgent humanitarian ceasefire with the aim of putting an immediate end to this massacre."

For her part, Director of the United Nations Population Fund, Natalia Kanem, expressed her concern about the fate of pregnant women in the Gaza Strip and their newborns. She said, “Amid the battles and destruction, there are currently 5,500 pregnant women in Gaza who are expected to give birth during the next month.”

Every day, about 180 women give birth in horrific conditions, and the future of their infants is uncertain. Two hours".

Research showed that "67% of the civilian deaths in the occupied Palestinian territories were men, before last October 7."

She added, "The situation reversed after October 7, and 67% of the 14,000 civilians killed in Gaza were women and children."

She said, "Women in Gaza pray for peace, but if there is no peace, they pray for quick death while they sleep with their children in their arms."

She noted that "nearly 800,000 women were displaced from the Gaza Strip."


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UNICEF: Gaza has become “the most dangerous place in the world for children”