United Nations Children’s Fund

UNICEF brings critical supplies to the isolated children of Al-Mawasi

UNICEF today began delivery of a series of critical health and sanitation as well as education supplies to the isolated and deprived children of the Gaza Strip enclave of Al-Mawasi. More than 5,000 Palestinians - almost half of which are children - live in Al-Mawasi, which is a completely isolated area in the Gaza Strip. “Today’s delivery means that the children of Al-Mawasi will have some relief in their daily struggle,” said UNICEF oPt Special Representative Dan Rohrmann. “Reaching the un-reached is a key element in ensuring that all children’s rights are met. Two thousand children in one of the most difficult to reach areas will have essential supplies to learn, to stay healthy and to be able to play.” 

Palestinian youth produce their own TV programme

The 2004 International Children’s Day of Broadcasting (ICDB) marks the second anniversary of Alli Sotak (Speak Up), a two hour weekly programme, which is created by and for Palestinian young people. The inspiration for starting a new programme for youth was born when the Palestinian National TV network realized that, amidst the gloomy circumstances and grim news headlines which children are exposed to , there was a great hunger for positive content. As a result, Palestine TV began to participate in the annual ICDB event in the year 2000, by sponsoring annual special programmes. 

UNICEF starts distribution of 40,000 school bags in Gaza Strip

UNICEF today began distribution of more than 40,000 school bags to children in the Gaza Strip, starting with schools damaged by the recent military incursions into the North. “The school bags are a token of support that give a sense of normalcy in the lives of children, a sense of no matter the circumstance, education must continue” said Dan Rohrmann, the UNICEF Special Representative for the occupied Palestinian territory. “Children’s right to education must be upheld.” The distribution of the bright blue school bags is timed to coincide with the resumption of classes at the end of a 2 week disruption - and with the cessation of military activity in the Northern Gaza Strip. 

Palestinian children at risk in Gaza

UNICEF is focusing on three flashpoints in the Gaza Strip: Rafah, Khan Younis and most recently the Northern Gaza region due to a major military offensive launched on 28 September. Causes of the crisis in these flashpoints relate to military incursions, house demolitions, land leveling and severe restriction of movements due to internal closures. In addition three other areas – Al Mawasi, Siafa and Al Ma’Ani – are areas of key concern due to total closure and very limited access to health services and school facilities. any Palestinian families, including those who were self-reliant before the Intifada, have now exhausted the means that enabled them to cope during the past four years. 

More than 1 million Palestinian children return to school

Some 1.2 million children returned to school last week in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after a summer break. Students and teachers have begun the new school year with enthusiasm, but it will not be without challenges - classroom size, quality of teaching, and, amid school closures, checkpoints and day-long curfews. Almost 200,000 children lost school days last year due to curfews and closures. UNICEF is supporting the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education by providing essential learning supplies, supporting teacher training, and advocating to ensure that students take final exams safely and on schedule. 

UN launches major immunization campaign

Ramallah/Gaza City, 28 June 2004 - UNICEF launched a major measles immunization campaign in the West Bank and Gaza Strip today, aimed at providing more than 540,000 children aged 9-59 months with a safe injection of measles vaccine and a doses of Vitamin A. The three-week long campaign is led by the Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Palestinian Authority, UNICEF and UNRWA - with financial support from the Japanese Government, USAID and a contribution from the Micronutrient Initiative. 

UNICEF witnesses cumulative effects of the conflict on health of Palestinian children

Today, UNICEF briefed donors on the deteriorating effects of the conflict on Palestinian children, in particular during and after the Rafah invasions. UNICEF witnessed the beginning of cumulative effects on health, nutrition and education. With about half of the population being food iinsecure, the nutrition patterns have been disrupted, with important effects on children’s well-being. During the Rafah invasion, more than 45 new babies were born in houses, far from minimal obstetric and newborn care facilities. 

UNICEF's Carol Bellamy to visit Gaza City and Israel

In her first visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Israel, UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy will spend most of her time interacting with children who have been impacted by the long-running conflict. Ms. Bellamy, the head of the world’s largest children’s right organization will have the chance to listen, to observe, and to express solidarity with children for whom living in conflict has become part of their daily lives. The children in Gaza City and those living in Israel have all lost relatives. The two-and-a-half day visit – which starts 29 May 2004, Saturday - will also be a chance to boost UNICEF’s advocacy efforts on both Palestinian and Israeli sides. 

UNICEF calls for the protection of children in Rafah

UNICEF said today it is deeply concerned about the impact on children of the ongoing military operation in the Gaza Strip, particularly a missile strike Wednesday that claimed the lives of at least 10 Palestinians, many of them children. “Palestinian children have a right to be protected against all acts of violence in the midst of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said David S. Bassiouni, UNICEF Special Representative in Jerusalem.  With the recent military actions in Rafah – and Wednesday’s missile strike – at least 10 children have already lost their lives, including Asma and Ahmed, a 16 and 13-year-old girl and boy, respectively, shot in their home in Rafah on Tuesday morning.