A collapsed building in Gaza.

War Child’s response to the attacks on aid workers this week

Flutra Gorana, War Child’s Regional Director for the Middle East, reflects on why a devastating week for the humanitarian sector will only strengthen our resolve to help the children of Gaza and call for a ceasefire.

We were shocked and devastated to hear of the killing of our fellow aid workers from World Central Kitchen earlier this week. In a conflict where starvation is being used as a weapon of war, where famine is imminent and children are dying due to a lack of food, World Central Kitchen’s work is as critical as ever. Our hearts go out to the deceased, their loved ones and all their colleagues at WCK and across the aid sector.

Aid workers should not be targets in any conflict. Yet around 200 have been killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in the last six months. This is nearly three times the death toll recorded for any single conflict in an entire year prior to the current violence. Like many organisations working in Gaza, we have lost treasured colleagues from partner organisations. Members of our team have lost family members. Each life lost is a tragedy. We therefore completely understand why some fellow aid organisations - particularly those who have lost staff recently - are pausing or reconsidering their operations in Gaza. We stand in solidarity with them.

War Child is, however, determined to continue our work to help the children of Gaza. A million children have been forced from their homes, are facing starvation and are experiencing extreme trauma. The situation in Gaza is the worst for children that our staff on the ground have ever seen. We are as determined as ever to do what we can to help them. 

We already do everything we can to minimise the risk our staff and partners face when helping children in Gaza. In practice, the relentlessness of the Israeli attacks has meant that we have been extremely limited in the number of children we have been able to help whilst trying to keep our staff and partners safe. We are working to a plan that would help over 120,000 children with aid like food, water, hygiene kits, shelter and mental health support. So far, however, we have only been able to reach around 10,000 individuals. In a situation where Israeli airstrikes are killing protected groups, such as children and aid workers, at record rates, it has simply been impossible to deliver more. 

This is why we our work around Gaza has always involved two elements: our work on the ground to help children directly, and our campaigning at an international level – through public communications and private advocacy direct to politicians and officials -  for an immediate and lasting ceasefire. This is the ONLY solution that will protect children, and allow aid workers to get them the lifesaving aid they need, in the quantities needed, without fearing for their own lives as well. 


This war on children MUST stop. Find how you can make your voice heard and call for a #ceasefireNOW.
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