The first shipment with relief supplies from the leading Swiss children's rights organisation Terre des hommes Lausanne has arrived in Gaza and is now being distributed. Despite humanitarian efforts to date, the civilian population in Gaza remains in urgent need of support from the international community. A ceasefire between all parties to the conflict is urgently needed to protect children and their families.
The first shipment of humanitarian aid from the leading Swiss children's rights organisation Terre des hommes Lausanne (Tdh) arrived in Gaza and is now being distributed. Nine out of fifteen trucks were able to bring food, water and emergency kits including plasters, disinfectants, painkillers and more, across the Rafah border crossing to Gaza. The kits are being distributed by the organisation’s local partners to children and families and will be sufficient to support around 30,000 people.
Complex coordination of humanitarian aid
The logistical challenge of getting humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip is considerable. Since 21 October, at least 569 trucks have travelled from Egypt to Gaza with relief supplies, almost half of them with food and a quarter with medical supplies. Water and hygiene products are also among the urgently needed resources.
For Tdh’s first shipment, over 60 staff members and volunteers had dedicated time to package more than 10,000 boxes to address humanitarian needs with essential supplies. The shipment of the humanitarian supplies was made through our partner, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Gaza, as there is not any other actor able to move within the Gaza Strip under the heavy bombardment. The actual distribution of Tdh’s kits is being done through the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Middle East (UNWRA) with the support of our staff in Gaza.
Children are in tremendous and urgent need of support of the international community
The humanitarian aid currently arriving in Gaza is nowhere near enough to provide for the civilian population. 1.4 million people have been displaced and are living in unimaginable conditions. With no access to water and little food, they are housed in schools, hospitals and other overcrowded shelters where they are not safe from attacks. Many children have lost their families and are sleeping on the streets. According to the Ministry of Health, more than 4000 children have been killed in Gaza since the beginning of the war. 1250 children are missing, they could be waiting to be rescued under the rubble or may already be dead.
"Every day more than hundred children are being killed in Gaza. Families are being destroyed and dreams shattered. We must not allow any more innocent children to fall victim to a conflict they did not choose. We urge the international community to act decisively to protect the lives and futures of these children, ensuring that they can grow up without the horrors of war," says Simone Manfredi, Head of Delegation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Tdh once again calls for an immediate ceasefire between all parties to the conflict to prevent further suffering of the civilian population in Gaza and to ensure that people receive the help they need.
Terre des hommes Lausanne is the leading Swiss children's rights organisation. The organisation has been active in the occupied Palestinian territories for 50 years, where it carried out projects in the areas of child protection, justice for children and humanitarian aid before the outbreak of the war. Since 7 October, it has had to suspend its activities in the region for the time being and reduce them to preparing emergency aid kits in Egypt. As soon as possible, the organisation plans to offer psychological emergency aid for children and their families. www.tdh.org