Child deaths in Gaza exceed global rate: NGO

Published October 31, 2023
Damaged residential buildings are seen in the aftermath of Israeli strikes, near Al-Quds hospital in Gaza City October 30, 2023. - Reuters
Damaged residential buildings are seen in the aftermath of Israeli strikes, near Al-Quds hospital in Gaza City October 30, 2023. - Reuters

THE number of children who have lost their lives during the recent Israeli military campaign over the past three weeks in Gaza has exceeded the annual child mortality rate in armed conflicts worldwide for each of the past four years, Save The Children said.

Gaza’s health authorities have reported that over 3,000 children have been killed since October 7.

“Decades of conflict and the ongoing military occupation and blockade of Gaza hinder the right to self-determination and consequently, has adverse impacts on the development of Palestinian communities, greatly increasing the vulnerability of children, particularly children most impacted by inequality and discrimination,” the report by Save The Children said.

“Palestinian children and their families continue to live in an environment characterised by violence, poverty and insecurity,” it added.

The report also underscores that children with disabilities encounter extra hurdles because of physical barriers and discrimination in society. The impact of war on them means their traumas will require a significant amount of time to heal.

The United Nations secretary general’s annual report on children and armed conflict, cited by Save the Children, reveals that in 2022, a total of 2,985 children were killed in 24 countries, with 2,515 in 2021 and 2,674 in 2020. In 2019, the UN reported 4,019 children killed in global conflicts.

Published in Dawn, October 31st, 2023

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