Children live in constant fear and complain of emotional problems

Berlin / Gaza City (ots) –

Many children suffer greatly during the 15-year blockade of the Gaza Strip and do not have much hope for a better future. It appears from the Trapped study published today (https://resourcecentre.savethechildren.net/document/trapped-the-impact-of-15-years-of-blockade-on-the-mental-health-of-gazas – children /), where Save the Children interviewed 488 children and young people and 168 parents and caregivers in the Gaza Strip.

The results show that children’s mental well-being has deteriorated significantly since a similar study five years ago. In 2018, only about half of them had emotional issues, today it is 80 percent. They feel anxious (84 percent), tense (80 percent) and depressed (77 percent). More than half of children and adolescents have suicidal thoughts, 60 percent self-harm.

“The situation of these children is shocking and should be a wake-up call to the international community,” said Jason Lee, Save the Children’s Country Director for the Occupied Palestinian Territories. “Many are afraid of the next outbreak of violence. They can no longer sleep, wet, some stop talking or are no longer able to perform the simplest tasks. The causes of this conflict must be tackled, and measures to “Protecting all children and families is being welcomed. They deserve a life of security and dignity!”

14-year-old Amr still remembers the escalation of violence last year: “I could not sleep at night because I had a nightmare. I was afraid they would bomb our house or our neighbors’ house. My father reassured me. And I tried to fall asleep again. ”

According to the report, parents and caregivers are also under a lot of pressure. 96 percent are unhappy and constantly worried. In the survey five years ago, they had already stated that they were reaching their limits due to the blockade, the rising poverty and the constant tension. If the situation escalated further – as many feared at the time – they would eventually lack the strength to be there for their protégés.

14-year-old Ameera still has hopes for a better future. “If the blockade were lifted today, I could feel connected to the world again,” she says. “I could do what I really want and go where I want. I would study computer science and get a degree in virtual reality design. Here in Gaza, I do not have that opportunity.”

Violence in Gaza has repeatedly escalated in recent years; In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly half of the roughly two million inhabitants of the narrow strip of land between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean coast are children. More than 800,000 children do not know everyday life without the land, air and sea blockade imposed by Israel.

Save the Children calls on the Israeli government to lift the blockade immediately in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1860 of 2009. The international community – including the German government – should call on Israel to end the occupation. In addition, all parties must work together to pave the way for renewed dialogue in order to find a just solution to help children and families.

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About Save the Children:

In the post-war year 1919, the British social reformer Eglantyne Jebb founded Save the Children to save children in Germany and Austria from starvation. Today, it is now the largest independent child rights organization in the world, active in around 120 countries. Save the Children works for children in wars, conflicts and disasters. For a world that respects children’s rights, where all children live healthy and safe lives and can grow up and learn freely and independently – for over 100 years.

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Original content from: Save the Children Deutschland eV, broadcast by news aktuell
Original message: https://www.presseportal.de/pm/106106/5249093

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