Rafah, home to 126,000 people, is situated in a village called Deir Sulta, in the southern part the Gaza. Gaza is heavily over-populated with 2.1 million inhabitants, around 41% of whom are under 15 years old.
The people of Rafah suffer many hardships due to the political and economic situation. Blockades mean there are shortages of food, medicines, and other basic supplies such as fuel. These also limit access to education, employment, and humanitarian assistance.
Since 2000, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Rafah.
In Gaza unemployment exceeds 50% and an estimated 64% of the population lives in poverty.
As a result, 1.3 million people are food insecure, including two thirds of all children. In fact, recent findings indicate that only 14% of Gazaian children under the age of 5 have a minimum acceptable diet.
Child malnutrition has consequences for children’s physical and mental development. These can include an inability to concentrate in school and a weakened immune system, which can result in illness.
Water resources in Gaza are very limited, with use being prioritized for vital necessities such as eating and drinking.
Only 10% of households in Gaza have direct access to safe drinking water, and only 4% of the water from the area’s water source is suitable for human consumption.
Poor water quality is the source of many sicknesses that affect babies and children. It is also the leading cause of diarrhoea, which is the world’s second biggest cause of death among children under five.