Published: 19th May 2021
UNICEF says it needs emergency humanitarian access in Gaza to provide aid to children
The United Nations is also calling for the establishment of humanitarian corridors so that the agency can deliver supplies safely to provide humanitarian need
United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a statement that the agency needs immediate access into Gaza to provide humanitarian access to children affected by the recent escalation in violence between Israel and Hamas. "UNICEF is calling for the immediate cessation of hostilities on humanitarian grounds to allow the entry of staff and essential supplies, including fuel, medical items, first-aid kits and COVID-19 vaccines," Fore said on Tuesday.
The United Nations is also calling for the establishment of humanitarian corridors so that the agency can deliver supplies safely to provide humanitarian needs, she said. Fore noted that at least 60 children have been killed and 444 others have been injured in Gaza within the last ten days and about 30,000 displaced. Approximately 325,000 Gaza residents need water and sanitation services, she said.
In addition, roughly 60 per cent of electricity in Gaza is out, leaving local hospitals in need of a substantial amount of fuel to run generators to keep the medical facilities operating. On late Tuesday, Israeli television reported that Egypt had proposed to impose a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinians beginning on Thursday, adding that Hamas had already accepted the initiative.
Recently resumed fighting in East Jerusalem has led to the worst violence between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza in recent years. Palestinian militants have launched over 3,350 rockets toward Israel, which in response has fired retaliatory strikes against the enclave.