Save the Children Statement on Ceasefire Announced in Gaza and Israel

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (May 21, 2021) – Save the Children welcomes the announcement of a ceasefire between Israel and armed groups in Gaza. Attention must now quickly turn to providing desperately needed humanitarian assistance to children and their families, and working toward a solution that addresses the underlying causes of the hostilities.

Civilians, including children, have been the primary victims of this escalation of violence. Hundreds of people have been injured. Since May 10, 65 children have died in Gaza, and two children have died in Israel. Thousands of children in Gaza and southern Israel are experiencing the aftermath of violence, destruction and personal loss. Many will live with mental, emotional and physical scars for the rest of their lives. 

Humanitarian assistance is needed immediately. All parties must allow unfettered access to aid workers to safely reach children with life-saving support. They must also facilitate the unimpeded entry of medicines and essential supplies including clean water and fuel. 

But aid isn’t enough. The international community must help find a just solution that addresses the underlying causes of this escalation and upholds equal rights for both Palestinian and Israeli children. We specifically call on the U.S. government to provide humanitarian assistance that includes cash assistance, funding for WASH, and support for child protection, including mental health and psychosocial support. The U.S. should also use its influence to bring parties to the table to negotiate a long-term peaceful solution and use its voice to reinforce the call on all parties to respect international law. Accountability and adherence to international humanitarian law and international human rights law are essential pre-requisites for any lasting peace. 

Save the Children has worked in Gaza since 1973. We operate early education programs for children at risk of missing out on school, and Child Friendly Spaces so children have a safe place to relax and play in what can be a very stressful environment. In addition, we are helping families earn an income and access clean water. Save the Children is preparing to scale up its programming to address urgent humanitarian needs in response to the recent violence.

Members of the international community, including the U.S. government, must come together to aid recovery from the most recent escalation of violence. Children’s futures depend on it.

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.

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