4 out of 5 children suffer from depression f

After 15 years of life under blockade in the Gaza Strip, four out of five children say they suffer from depression, anxiety and fear. These are the results of Report on ‘caught’published today by Save the kidsthe international organization that for over 100 years has fought to save girls and boys and guarantee them a future.

The research showed that the mental well-being of children, young people and health professionals in the area has deteriorated significantly over the years. In fact, children who report emotional distress in Gaza, 80%, are a sharp increase compared to 55% in 2018., when a similar study was conducted. These data show once again how the current situation has a profoundly negative impact on children’s well-being and their hopes for a better future. The ‘Captured’ report found a significant increase in children reporting the feeling scared (84% vs 50% in 2018), nervous (80% vs 55%), sad or depressed (77% vs 62%) and sad (78% vs 55%). More than half of them thought of suicide (55% of them) e three out of five have committed self-harm (59%).

Save the Children calls on the Israeli government to lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip and that local authorities, the international community and donors support the rapid strengthening of child protection and mental health. For the past 15 years, children in the Gaza Strip have been victims six events that had a devastating impact on them: we are talking about five peaks of violence to which the Covid-19 pandemic has been added, which, in addition to the land, air and sea blockade imposed by the Israeli government, limit their lives. Of the two million Gazans, 47% are children and more than 800 thousand of them have never known a life without blockage. In addition to physical injuries, financial deprivation and lack of access to essential services such as health care, the blockade, according to the Save the Children report, has created a deep mental emergency for girls, boys and young people.

Amr, 14, still remembers the terror he felt during last year’s escalation of violence: “I could not sleep at night because I had nightmares. I was really afraid they would bomb our house or bomb our neighbors again. I was horrified. I told my father about nightmares and he reassured me that it would not happen. Then I would go back to bed and try to sleep again. ” The parents or caregivers who participated in the organization’s data collection pointed out that 79% of children and adolescents had an increase in bedwetting episodes compared to previous years and 78% that their children often did not complete homework. About 59% of them stated that there has been an increase in the number of children who have difficulties with language and communication, or who suffer from temporary reactive mutism, a symptom due to trauma or abuse. As Save the Children points out, all of these aspects have a huge impact, both in the short and long term, on development, learning and social interaction between girls, boys and young people.

According to the report ‘Trapped’, parents and caregivers themselves experience higher levels of emotional stress, and 96% of them report feeling dissatisfied and constantly anxious. “The children of Gaza with whom we spoke to achieve this relationship said they are living in an eternal state of fear, worry, sadness and suffering while waiting for the next round of violence to break out and for them to feel being unable to sleep or physical evidence of their discomfort, with bedwetting, loss of the ability to speak or to perform basic tasks, is shocking and should serve as a wake-up call to the international community, “said Jason Lee , Country Director of Save the Children in Occupied Palestinian Territories.

“Already five years ago, parents and relatives told us that their ability to support their children was on the border due to blockade, chronic poverty and insecurity, and that it would most likely be completely abolished in the event of another conflict. in our report shows that their concerns have unfortunately come true – continued Jason Lee – We ask all parties to address the root causes of this conflict and to take measures to protect all children and families who deserve to live in safety and with dignity. We need an immediate cessation of hostilities and an end to economic deprivation which are huge stressors in children’s lives, as well as efforts to support the resistance potential of children and their families in the Gaza Strip. “

Ameera, 14, told us how her life would change if the embargo was lifted today, and told us she would “feel more connected to the whole world”. “I could do what I want and go where I want. I wanted to study computer science and in particular I wanted to graduate in virtual reality design. That’s what I really want to do in life, but I can not do this. in Gaza, we do not have such a program “, commented.

Save the Children calls on the Israeli government to take immediate steps to lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip under UN Security Council Resolution 1860 (2009). The international community should urge Israel to take these steps, as well as end the ongoing occupation and work with all actors in the field, so as to create the conditions for renewing talks between the conflicting parties and reaching a just solution. (TO SAY)

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