A close-up of a Palestinian boy during one of the first classes of the new academic year, at a school in Gaza supported by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
@ UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan
Successful efforts to overcome a major funding crisis will help safeguard the education of 500,000 students in 685 United Nations schools across the Middle East.
The number of babies dying before the age of one has consistently fallen over the last decades in Gaza, from 127 per 1,000 live births in 1960 to 20.2 in 2008. At the last count, in 2013, it rose to 22.4 per 1,000 live births.
A suspension of services relating to the Agency’s education programme would mean a delay in the school year for half a million students attending some 700 schools and 8 vocational training centres across the Middle East.
Resolute political action is required to achieve the necessary change of paradigm in the Strip, starting with a lifting of the blockade, ensuring rights and security for all, and freedom of movement for civilians.