Winter weather heightens dangers for Gaza’s children
Families in desperate need of shelter, warm clothes and blankets.
The ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip has left children reeling. Homes have been destroyed, communities have been shattered and displaced, and access to vital services has been disrupted. Now, the arrival of winter weather – marked by heavy rain, gusting winds, and cooler temperatures – is piling misery upon misery.
Families displaced by the hostilities and living in makeshift shelters are especially vulnerable to the damp winter weather, with flooding and a lack of fuel for heating leaving them exposed to the risk of respiratory and other diseases. Families are struggling to find blankets to stay warm. With no mattresses and pillows, many are sleeping on the ground in tents.
“It’s very cold, really cold here, especially at night when we go to sleep.”
“I used to love winter, but now winter has become very harsh without our house, which was destroyed during the war.”
“When it rains, we feel very cold.”
“Even when we hear the sound of thunder everyone is afraid, as it sounds like a bombardment.”
UNICEF is working with partners to help provide desperately needed winter supplies. UNICEF’s response includes delivering thousands of blankets to hospitals in southern Gaza Strip.
In addition to hospitals, UNICEF has also delivered winter clothing, baby overalls and blankets for thousands of children, as well as tents and tarpaulins for child-friendly spaces and temporary health facilities and learning spaces.
UNICEF continues to focus on the critical needs of children for protection and humanitarian assistance and has worked with partners to dispatch emergency supplies including water, life-saving medicines and equipment. But much more is needed to meet the immense needs of civilians and access remains difficult and dangerous.
UNICEF staff, along with our United Nations and civil society partners, remain in Gaza. To continue to help children and families through winter, we must be allowed to provide life-saving aid at scale, especially where access is most constrained.
An immediate, long-lasting humanitarian ceasefire is the only way to end the killing and injuring of children, to protect civilians, and to enable the delivery of desperately needed life-saving aid.