Ceasefire holds in Gaza: ‘It’s a hopeful day’
By Chris Niles
NEW YORK, 19 January 2009 – UNICEF is moving swiftly to deliver supplies and support to children after a ceasefire was declared on Saturday following three weeks of conflict.
“It’s a hopeful day,” said UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Sigrid Kaag.
UNICEF will take part in the United Nations rapid emergency assessment team in Gaza, and will issue a flash appeal for extra financial help to meet immediate humanitarian needs in the coming days.
Meeting children’s urgent needs
One of the top priorities will be to quickly repair damaged schools and community centres so that children have safe places in which to begin rebuilding their lives.
Prospects for peace
UNICEF will be working with partners to address the wider impact this conflict has had on all children in the region.
“We’ve found very exciting and supportive partnerships within the media,” said Ms. Kaag, “to build that future generation where there’s hope, where we have prospects for peace and mutual understanding and tolerance. It’s long-term, but today is a good a day as any to start that process.”