Half of Gaza children need mental health support: UNRWA

Palestinian children fill up gallons with drinking water in Gaza City (Mahmud Hams - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  November 3, 2021

More than half of Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip desperately need mental health support as a result of the recent Israeli military offensive, the UN refugee agency, UNRWA, said Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters in Gaza City, UNRWA Director, Thomas White, said 9,090 children showed symptoms of psychological disorders and shocks.

Those children “were provided with primary psychological support,” he said.

White said the Israeli offensive on Gaza in May has undermined economic growth in the Palestinian territory.

“Conditions in Gaza are difficult, especially in the light of the rising rates of unemployment and poverty,” he added.

The UNRWA chief described an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire between Gaza-based Palestinian factions and Israel as important, stressing that the Palestinian territory is in need of economic recovery following the offensive.

According to White, there are 1,211 households still homeless in Gaza following the Israeli offensive.

The Israeli offensive left almost 260 Palestinians dead and thousands injured, and left a vast trail of destruction in Gaza. Palestinian resistance groups, for their part, responded with barrages of rockets into Israeli areas, killing at least 13 Israelis.