Children in Gaza face growing deadly threat to their lives: UNICEF
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday that after almost three months of war in Gaza, malnutrition and disease are creating a deadly cycle that threatens over 1.1 million children.
A total of 90% of the 1.1 million young people in the region are not fully supplied with nutrients, according to a UNICEF survey conducted on December 26.
"Children in the Gaza Strip face a deadly triple threat to their lives, as cases of diseases rise, nutrition plummets and the escalation in hostilities approaches its fourteenth week," UNICEF said.
Three months have passed since the October 7 cross-border operation by Hamas fighters. During this period, relentless Israeli strikes and ground attacks have killed at least 22,700 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Since the war erupted in Gaza, the Occupied West Bank has faced growing Israeli aggression. More than 332 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops or settlers, at least 5,600 people arrested and more than 3,000 injured.
“Children in Gaza are caught in a nightmare that worsens with every passing day,” said Catherine Russell, UNICEF’s executive director.
The report said that cases of diarrhoea in children under 5 years of age rose from 48,000 to 71,000 in just one week starting December 17, equivalent to 3,200 new cases of diarrhoea per day.
It added that displaced children and their families are unable to maintain the necessary hygiene levels needed to prevent disease, given the alarming lack of safe water and sanitation.
The report affirmed that prolonged diarrhoea put children at high risk of death.
“The futures of thousands more children in Gaza hang in the balance. The world cannot stand by and watch. The violence and the suffering of children must stop,” Russell said.
Source: DPA and news agencies