By Suhila Tarazi - Project administrator- Al Ahli Arabi Hospital
Donor: Palestinian American Medical Association “PAMA” Implementation: Ahli Arab Hospital “AAH”, Gaza Period: June 2019 to August 2020
According to the 2017 Humanitarian Needs Overview Report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (“OCHA”), approximately 3,000 children in Gaza are in need of structured psychosocial services, including life skills. Approximately 11,000 children in Gaza are in need of child protection case management. According to a Terre des hommes (TDH) study in 2018, in cooperation with the Child Protection Working Group, physical violence against children is common across the Gaza Strip. The study also links physical violence to increases in the prevalence of sexual violence against children and child labor. Moreover, 90% of respondents identified psychosocial distress among children as a main child protection concern in the Gaza Strip. The study lists the manifestations of stress as follows: 85% of children exhibited aggressive behavior 76% of children exhibited bed-wetting 73% of children exhibited unusual crying and screaming 72% of children exhibited violence against younger children 69% of children displayed an unwillingness to go to school 61% of children exhibited disrespectful behavior in the family 60% of children reported having nightmares and difficulty sleeping 57% of children reported sadness 50% of children exhibited antisocial behaviors.
These stress manifestations were correlated with factors such as lack of electricity, lack of food, armed conflict and separation from family. The study lists the correlations as follows: 86% of children’s stress was correlated with blackouts/ lack of energy sources 75% of children’s stress was correlated with lack of food 65% of children’s stress was correlated with armed conflict 64% of children’s stress was correlated with lack of shelter 52% of children’s stress was correlated with separation from family The root causes of the children’s psycho/social issues were identified as the economic, social and political deterioration of life in the Gaza Strip. The European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations “ECHO” describes Gaza as a protracted crisis in a de-developed area. For example , 54% of Gazans live beneath the poverty line in comparison with 13% of West Bank residents (PCBS, 2018). Since 2007, Gaza has been under a blockade that has made it virtually impossible for the vast majority of the population to leave Gaza. According to the World Bank, the unemployment rate was 43% in 2018. 80% of people in Gaza depend on aid for food. More than 50,000 Palestinian Authority Employees have had their salaries cut by 50% for the second year in a row. Many Gazans have outstanding bank loans which impacts their market purchasing power and the high rate of imprisonment means that there are many Gazans who have lost financial support due to incarceration.
Attached is the requested report. We attempted to submit multiple times before the deadline, but submission failed and we contacted customer support to resolve this matter. Please accept our submission and attached report
First Phase Report of the Child Well-Being Psychosocial Support (PSS) of Traumatized Children in the Gaza Strip Project report
Al Ahli Arab Hospital, Gaza City Part of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem A diocese of the worldwide Anglican Communion
The children of Gaza are confronted with considerable amounts of violence in their daily lives. Since the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000, intensified violence coupled with an extreme decline in freedom and severe economic depression has affected the majority of people, especially women, children and adolescents. Children born into this environment are exhibiting psychosocial and behavioral problems. The steady exposure to violence coupled with poverty has led to various kinds of psychosocial and behavioral problems that develop into mental health diseases such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. The exhibited behavioral symptoms include poor arousal, poor concentration, and poor attention, outbursts of anger and/or irritability, poor academic achievement, and withdrawal. These symptoms are the precursors to mental health disease. If not addressed, the mental health of the children of Gaza will greatly affect the society’s future. This program is developed and implemented by the Al-Ahli Hospital (AAH) in Gaza, part of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, as it pertains to the organization’s vision to provide the finest medical care possible under the most adverse circumstances to the marginalized and vulnerable. The psychosocial intervention program aims to help children cope positively with stressor events and promote the well-being of traumatized children and their mothers.
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