East Jerusalem, 18 September 2020: Today the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, and UNICEF agreed a partnership for reaching vulnerable children and their families with essential integrated child protection and mental health psychosocial support in the Gaza Strip. The agreement was signed by Mr. Giuseppe Fedele, Consul General of Italy in Jerusalem, and Ms. Lucia Elmi, UNICEF Special Representative to the State of Palestine.
Major strides have been made in the last decade to improve the situation of children in Palestine, such as high school enrolment rates – including for girls – in primary education. However, much remains to be done to reduce the very high levels of violence children are exposed to in their schools and communities, and as a result of the continuing conflict.
The continuing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip has significantly impacted the mental health and psychosocial well-being of children and their families. This partnership between the Italian Cooperation and UNICEF focuses on ensuring access to essential and integrated protection services to some 7,425 vulnerable children and their families in targeted areas of the Gaza Strip. The partnership will also build the capacity of 10 family centers and some 100 community service providers to allow them to better support children in emergency situations. This includes awareness raising sessions with around 4,050 caregivers of vulnerable children on child protection services, and life skills education for the most affected boys and girls.