UN Official: Gaza Destruction Can Have Devastating Effect On Children


(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) NEW YORK, April 4 (KUNA) -- The severe damage to infrastructure in Gaza and the difficulty to deliver humanitarian aid can have "devastating humanitarian consequences for children," said UN official.
In a statement late Wednesday, during a UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting on children and armed conflicts, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Ted Chaiban said, "It can mean parties arbitrarily restricting access, including through the suspension of essential services, restrictions of movements of civilians to reach assistance and protection, bureaucratic and administrative impediments. It can also mean outright attacks on facilities providing life-sustaining services, including, for instance, water and sanitation installations, attacks on humanitarian and medical personnel, and besiegement tactics."
"Around the world, as conflicts proliferate, grave violations against children continue. The denial of humanitarian access is a particularly pervasive, multifaceted, and complex grave violation," he added.
Meanwhile, Chaiban noted that "in Sudan, the world's worst child displacement crisis, the violence and blatant disregard for permission to allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance essential to protect children from the impact of conflict in Darfur, in Kordofan, in Khartoum and beyond have greatly intensified their suffering. We are seeing record levels of admissions for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM)."
"Insecurity is preventing patients and health workers from reaching hospitals and other health facilities. Assets and staff are still being attacked. The health system remains overwhelmed resulting in a severe shortage of medicines and supplies, including life-saving," he said.
He urged the UNSC to exert further efforts to protect workers in the humanitarian field while they deliver aid, and allow them to deal with armed group without fear of the consequences.
On her part, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba said that "the Geneva Conventions and the Convention on the Rights of the Child contain key provisions requiring the facilitation of humanitarian relief to children in need."
"The denial of humanitarian access to children and attacks against humanitarian workers assisting children are also prohibited under international humanitarian law," she added.
Unfortunately, data gathered for her forthcoming 2024 report shows "we are on target to witness a shocking increase of the incidents of the denial of humanitarian access globally," she said, adding, "the blatant disregard for international humanitarian law continues to increase."
"Without compliance by parties to conflict to allow safe, full and unhindered access for the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance, children's survival, wellbeing and development are in jeopardy, and our calls are mere echoes in this Chamber," she noted. (end)
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