UNFPA Statement on the Crisis in Gaza

People fleeing during an airstrike in Gaza City. © Mohamed Zaanoun/Middle East Images/AFP via Getty Images

“Each step felt like a race against death.” That is what one pregnant woman told UNFPA after being forced to evacuate her home – just one among many of the desperate testimonials women and girls have shared with us as bombs fall and the siege in Gaza continues.

UNFPA calls on all parties to abide by international humanitarian law, and for the immediate release of all hostages. Attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure must cease, and healthcare facilities must never be a target.

UNFPA deplores the loss of life in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank and is deeply concerned for the safety and wellbeing of all civilians caught up in the crisis, especially women and girls. We reiterate the call by the United Nations Secretary-General to rescind the evacuation order from northern Gaza, which is making a dire humanitarian situation even worse. For the thousands of women about to give birth, and those who are sick and critically injured, being forced from their homes with nowhere safe to go and no food or water, is extremely dangerous. 

Gaza is home to 50,000 pregnant women who are struggling to access essential health services, as hospitals teeter on the brink of collapse, with no electricity and few if any vital supplies or medicines. UNFPA supports pregnant women and newborns by providing essential medicines and deploying midwives. This can only continue if lifesaving aid can reach them. We call for immediate, unimpeded humanitarian access so that food, medicines, water and fuel can reach everyone in need. 

May peace prevail so that all women and girls are spared horrific violence and suffering.

For the health and
dignity of women and girls

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