The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is receiving €3.8 million grant ($3.7 million) from the European Union (EU) to support Palestinian children in the besieged Gaza Strip.
The EU-supported programme is a collaboration between UNICEF and the Palestinian Ministry of Social Development and the donation will go towards strengthening educational services, such as cash transfers, summer activities and water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in schools.
Children make up nearly half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million. According to the press release, the UN fund’s child-sensitive cash transfers will help almost 9,000 vulnerable children in the Gaza Strip meet their basic needs and receive psychosocial support.
It warned that before the last wave of violence inflicted on the Palestinians last month by the Israeli occupation, one in every three children in Gaza needed psychological and social assistance, however, the recent bombing has increased the numbers.
Therefore, the fund aims to address a critical humanitarian situation while also strengthening the national social protection system to make it more child-sensitive and more responsive to shocks, it added.
“The EU will support remedial education to improve the numeracy and literacy skills of at least 5,000 elementary grade pupils in Gaza schools and engage boys and girls who are at risk of dropping out. Recreational programs and fun learning activities will also be organised for 10,000 children in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip during the summer break of 2023,” UNICEF said in a statement.
During Israel’s latest three-day military offensive against the besieged enclave on 5 August, 49 people, including 17 children and four women were killed.
The UN has frequently warned of the worsening situation in the Gaza Strip. It said last year that “no place is safe for children across the Gaza Strip.”