World Children's Day 2021 - An Investment in Children is an Investment in the Future

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Palestine refugee children are suffering the impact of recurrent cycles of violence and blockade in Gaza; the structural and direct violence of ongoing occupation in the West Bank; continued subsequent displacements by war in Syria; social and economic marginalization in Lebanon; and extreme poverty in Jordan—all of which has been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We provide mental health and psychosocial assistance to help them cope with trauma that no person, much less child, should ever suffer. In Syria, UNRWA offers cash assistance to families and psychosocial support activities to children as mitigation. In Lebanon, more than 1,275 Palestine refugee kids in Lebanon dropped out of school last year. 55 per cent cite psychological distress as the reason. UNRWA school counsellors offer individual and groups counselling to foster a safe, trusting environment. And in Jordan, UNRWA provides social assistance to help 45 per cent of social assistance goes to children.

While UNRWA continues to provide vital and innovative services during crisis after crisis, including emergency and psychosocial assistance, and distance learning opportunities, this is not sustainable. A just and durable resolution to the ongoing plight of Palestine refugees is needed to create a stable environment for these children to live in safety, thrive and achieve their full potential.