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UNICEF seeks $34.5 million to address urgent recovery needs for children and families in Gaza

AMMAN/GENEVA, 3 February 2009 – UNICEF is seeking $34.5 million to address urgent recovery needs for children and their families in Gaza. The request forms part of the UN appeal for $613 million to cover needs for over a nine-month period, launched today in Geneva.

UNICEF is working with partners in Gaza to address the extensive humanitarian and recovery needs of children and women through the delivery of urgent supplies, financial assistance, and technical expertise.

Additional funding is required to enable UNICEF to carry out 20 projects with partners in the sectors of protection, health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, and education.

The bulk of UNICEF’s funding requirements will cover child protection programmes amounting to $12 million, followed by education projects totaling $9.5 million.

With nowhere to hide from the violence, children were severely affected psychologically by the conflict. The distress that children experienced and the acute disruption of support mechanisms caused by the conflict makes the protection of children a priority in Gaza. The protection programmes include mine risk education and awareness, psychosocial support, and is creating safe spaces, learning and recreational opportunities in order to establish a sense of normalcy for children in Gaza.

UNICEF is also taking a lead role in coordinating humanitarian and recovery assistance in the sectors of child protection, education with Save the Children, psychosocial support and mental health with WHO, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene.

Prior to the recent conflict in Gaza, the education and health systems were already in crisis, the water and sanitation networks were under extreme duress, and household coping mechanisms were already stretched to breaking point due to the 18-month blockade. 

UNICEF’s request for $34.5 million is based on recent needs assessments and builds on its earlier request for $20 million. UNICEF projects in this Gaza Flash Appeal are part of the inter-agency oPt (occupied Palestinian territory) Consolidated Appeals Process for 2009 which also covers the West Bank.

Children make up over half of the 1.4 million people in Gaza. Some 430 children were killed, and 1,855 children were injured during the 23-day conflict. At the peak of displacement, around 28,560 children were in UNRWA shelters.


UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:

Patrick McCormick, UNICEF New York Tel, +1 212 326 7426, pmccormick@unicef.org
Veronique Taveau, UNICEF Geneva, Tel: +41 22 909 5716, vtaveau@unicef.org
Abdel-Rahman Ghandour: UNICEF MENA, Tel: +9626 550 2407, arghandour@unicef.org





24 January 2009:
UNICEF correspondent Chris Niles reports that children in Gaza are returning to school.
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