Gaza crisis: World Vision responding to needs of children and families

World Vision is providing humanitarian aid and psychosocial support for children and families impacted by the recent fighting.

By Kathryn Reid, World Vision U.S.
Updated September 11, 2014 at 10:30am PDT

Intense fighting between Israeli and Palestinian forces since July 8 has led to enormous humanitarian needs in Gaza.

Responding amid the crisis

World Vision has suspended its regular development work in Gaza and has turned instead to relief operations.

The organization has distributed 8,150 food parcels and 4,000 hygiene kits and is also providing medical supplies to private hospitals.

Some 18,000 people have received psychological support.

The impact on children

“For the sake of the children in this region, what we need is a game-changer,” says Alex Snary, World Vision’s director for Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza. “[We need] lasting and just peace in the entire region, for today’s children, and also tomorrow’s.”

Eight children enrolled in World Vision programs in Gaza have died in the recent conflict. Of the more than 2,100 people who have died in Gaza since July 8, at least 500 were children, according to U.N. reports. More than 3,100 children were injured; 1,000 of them will likely suffer a disability for life.

World Vision serves some 90,000 people in Gaza, including more than 7,000 children registered in its programs. More than 5,000 children in World Vision programs were displaced by the conflict.

Focusing on children and their future

The U.N. children’s agency office in Gaza says more than 373,000 children have had traumatic experiences and will need psychosocial support as a result of the latest conflict.

World Vision is operating 40 Child-Friendly Spaces to provide psychosocial support to children and protected spaces where thousands of children can play. Children are able to return to the comfort of a routine by attending at regular times each week and participating in structured activities, including sports, arts, and cultural programs.

The organization has trained 8,000 mothers in techniques of psychological first aid, which they can use to help their children, as well as any children their families are hosting, to calm themselves and manage stress.

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How you can respond

Highlights

  • World Vision has distributed thousands of food parcels and hygiene kits and is providing medical supplies to private hospitals.
  • The organization has also set up 40 Child-Friendly Spaces to provide a safe environment for children to recover from traumatic events.
  • Of the more than 2,100 people who have died in Gaza since July 8, at least 500 were children.
  • More than 5,000 children in World Vision programs were displaced by the conflict.
  • World Vision serves some 90,000 people in Gaza, including more than 7,000 children registered in its programs.
  • The U.N. children’s agency office in Gaza says that more than 373,000 children have had traumatic experiences and will need psychosocial support as a result of the latest conflict.

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