Families in Gaza are facing a complete collapse of essential services as electricity and water supplies run out.
Health facilities are particularly badly affected, with some hospitals warning that they only have enough fuel to run electricity generators for another four to five days.
This could leave nearly one million children trapped in a war zone without access to electricity, water or medical services.
At present, following air strikes on Gaza’s sole power plant, residents are receiving electricity for a maximum of two hours a day, if at all.
No water supplies are being delivered and sewage pumps are not working, meaning raw sewage is being pumped onto the streets, raising very serious concerns about outbreaks of disease.
Power only for a few days
Dr Yousef al-Sweiti, Director of the Save the Children-supported al-Awda hospital in northern Gaza, says: “At the hospital we have fuel maybe for a week maximum – if it finishes we will have to stop our work.
“This will really be a disaster, as we’re one of the only hospitals working in this area. If this war continues everything will collapse in Gaza.”
Health facilities in Gaza are already stretched to the limit as they deal with high numbers of trauma cases, an increase in premature and complicated births and dwindling supplies of medicine. To add to all this, they have been attacked.
Our country director David Hassell said: “The enormous strain on Gaza’s hospitals, and on doctors and nurses who are trying to save children’s lives in the most desperate of circumstances, underscores the need for a lasting ceasefire.
“Humanitarian organisations must be able to supply urgently needed food, water, medicines and fuel to alleviate the situation for children.
“A complete collapse of Gaza’s health system and infrastructure would be catastrophic for children who are already losing their lives at a rate of one every two hours.”
Save the Children works independently and impartially around the world – wherever there is need. We are currently working in Gaza and the West Bank. Save the Children is as concerned about the wellbeing of children in Israel as about those in the West Bank and Gaza.