Half of Gaza children need psychological support: UN agency
Half of Gaza children need psychological support: UN agency

GAZA: More than half of the children in the Gaza Strip need psychological support, said the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on Wednesday.

Thomas White, director of UNRWA operations in Gaza, made the remarks during a meeting with local journalists at his office in Gaza, noting that “this was due to the repercussions of the last round of tension in the enclave in May.”

He explained that 9,090 children have recently had behavioral problems and suffered trauma and they have received preliminary psychological support.

The senior UN official said that the recent round of tension had undermined the economic progress that was expected this year in Gaza, estimated at 0.3 percent.

“Living conditions in the Gaza Strip are difficult, especially in light of the high rates of unemployment and poverty. The person who receives a monthly salary provides for two to three extended families,” White said.

More than 2 million people in the Gaza Strip endure poor economic conditions, due to the blockade that had been imposed by Israel since 2007.

White said the UN agency was continuing its efforts to negotiate with donors to begin rebuilding completely-destroyed Palestinian refugee homes, adding that Germany has agreed to do so.

On May 10, Israel launched an 11-day military offensive on the Gaza Strip, leaving more than 250 Palestinians and 13 Israelis killed and causing massive destruction of homes and infrastructure.

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