A child and her mother standing in front of their destroyed home in the Gaza Strip. Donate now, sponsor a child or sponsor a village to provide emergency relief through SOS Children
GAZA STRIP – February 28 2024

Helping children in the Gaza Strip

SOS Children’s Villages in Rafah is providing shelter and care amid the violence.

While evacuation possibilities are still being explored, SOS Children’s Villages in Rafah continues to provide loving care for 89 children in the Gaza Strip. We’re delivering emergency services for more than 200 internally displaced persons including shelter, food, water and sanitation and psychological support. Under the looming threat of a ground invasion and amid ongoing airstrikes, the situation in the densely populated area is extremely critical.

Through partnerships, SOS Children’s Villages aims to provide care and protection for separated children, including support through family tracing and reunification whenever possible. Responding in the acute aftermath for children who have experienced severe trauma, SOS Children’s Villages is delivering immediate mental health support and ensuring a safe and nurturing environment to promote recovery.

Adequate referral and family tracing mechanisms for children who have lost parental care in Gaza must be in place and mainstreamed across all humanitarian programs and coordination structures. While there is no official estimate for the number of children who have lost parental care due to this conflict, it could be as high as 18,000 for the Gaza Strip alone.[ii]

We are on the side of children 

SOS Children’s Villages in Israel and SOS Children’s Villages in Palestine are working in unity and putting the needs of the children first. We continue to help children who have lost parental care and children separated from their families on both sides of this crisis.  

SOS Children’s Villages provides services to children who lack parental care or who are at risk of losing it in both Israel and Palestine. SOS Children’s Villages in Israel operates in Migdal Ha'emek and Arad to deliver alternative care, youth and family strengthening services, particularly for Bedouin communities. SOS Children’s Villages in Palestine delivers family strengthening and alternative care programs in Rafah (Gaza Strip) and Bethlehem (West Bank).

Our response—and how you can help

Our response strategy is to support thousands of children and their families with emergency assistance and protection in the immediate and medium to long-term stabilization and transition to recovery. We provide food, shelter, clothing, mental health and psychosocial support, education in emergencies, cash and voucher assistance to families and safe alternative care for children. This is delivered in accordance with the Core Humanitarian Standards [1], Child Safeguarding Policy and Protection from Sexual Harassment, Exploitation and Abuse (PSHEA) and as part of our Humanitarian Development Nexus Approach for sustained recovery. 

With the support of key partners like you, SOS Children’s Villages provides urgent child protection services in emergencies while creating locally led and long-term development solutions to systemic challenges. We invite philanthropic, corporate and government partners to join us in our efforts to achieve these goals: 

  1. Provide alternative care services for children who are unaccompanied, separated or who have lost parental care, including identification, registration and placement in safe and nurturing environments in accordance with international standards and local regulations.
  2. Deliver direct humanitarian support to prevent family separation and address critical needs among the most affected children and families.
  3. Ensure protection, safety and well-being of children and families, taking into account specific gender needs.
  4. Provide Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS), including timely and culturally sensitive MHPSS services to individuals, particularly children and caregivers, to help them cope with trauma and emotional distress. 

For all children, the loss and trauma from this conflict is taking a heavy toll on their mental health and well-being, with potentially devastating effects on their long-term development. Children who lose parental care are particularly vulnerable, as they are not guaranteed the caring bonds needed to help them develop resilience and overcome traumatic experiences. Further, they are most at risk of exclusion in humanitarian response efforts. 

As the fundamental rights of children and their caregivers are under attack, we call on parties to the conflict to abide by their responsibilities under international law and do everything to protect the lives of all civilians, especially children.


[1] SOS Children’s Villages holds a Humanitarian Partnership Certificate with DG ECHO, is an official member of the Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS) Alliance and CHS certified by the Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI). Learn more about SOS Children’s Villages’ emergency response and our approach in the SOS Children's Villages Humanitarian Mandate.

[ii] Euro-Med Monitor, Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip has affected half a million children so far, November 2023.

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