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United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
18 July 2008
UNICEF Humanitarian Action Update, 18 Jul 2008
UNICEF’S EMERGENCY PROGRAMMES FOCUS ON HEALTH, EDUCATION, PROTECTION AND ADOLESCENTS
- At least 68 children killed in conflict with Israel since beginning of year
- Despite truce, ongoing fuel and electricity shortages impede basic services in Gaza
- Growing food insecurity in households, rising malnutrition among children
- Tightening restrictions on humanitarian access across West Bank
More children have died in the conflict with Israel in the first half of 2008 than during all of 2007.
Despite a ceasefire with Israel, Gaza’s borders remain largely closed. Shortages of fuel and electricity translate into electricity cuts of 8 – 10 hours/day, disruptions in water distribution, sewage treatment, and to a lesser extent, health care.
Previously self-reliant families are increasingly food insecure, notably in Gaza. Across oPt, the share of spending on food over total household expenditure is as high as 64% in urban areas and 60% in rural areas(1). In Gaza, a UNICEF-supported assessment linked rising child malnutrition to insufficient meat and fruit intake and less household income(2).
In the West Bank, new procedures applied to the movement of UN agencies including searches of UN property, refusal to accept UN identification, and requiring UN Palestinian staff to walk across crossings pose significant challenges to humanitarian operations.
UNICEF’s programmes focus on health, education, child protection and adolescent development, targeting eight districts in particular where the needs are greatest – Gaza City, North Gaza, Deir Al Balah and Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip, and Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah / El-Bireh and Hebron in the West Bank.
(1) WFP/UNRWA/FAO rapid survey on food security, 2008
(2) UNICEF/Ard Al-Ensan rapid survey on child nutrition, 2008
Details of the occupied Palestinian Territories’ emergency programme can be obtained from:
Patricia McPhillips, Special Representative, UNICEF oPt, Tel: +972 5840401, Fax: +972 25830806, firstname.lastname@example.org
Esther Vigneau, UNICEF EMOPS, Geneva, Tel: + 41 22 909 5612, Fax: + 41 22 909 5902, email@example.com
Gary Stahl, UNICEF PARMO, New York, Tel: + 1-212 326 7009, Fax: + 1-212 326 7165, firstname.lastname@example.org
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