UPDATE: March 2024: Our top priority—as always—is to protect children, regardless of location or situation. Amid the current conflict, teams from SOS Children’s Villages in Gaza, SOS Children’s Villages in the West Bank and SOS Children’s Villages in Israel are on the ground, collaborating in unity to deploy humanitarian aid and safeguard vulnerable children. As violence recently intensified in the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, we successfully evacuated 68 children and 11 employees and their families from our children’s village in Rafah to a safer location in Bethlehem in the West Bank.

Read our official statement on the evacuation


SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Palestine)

Globally, there are around 14 million Palestinians, the majority of whom are displaced. There remains approximately 5.3 million Palestinians in the Middle East on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Palestine constitutes two areas, whose precise boundaries remain disputed: the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The lives of families here are shaped by violence, and the economic situation is affected by changing Israeli policies. Restrictions on free movement of people and goods are major obstacles for the Palestinian people and economy. The situation is significantly worse in Gaza compared to the West Bank.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Palestine since 1968.

Children are at risk

The Palestinian population is marked by its youth, with under 18’s constituting at least 2.3 million individuals, almost 50% of the population, and under 15’s making up around 40%. In addition, the elderly population, aged 65 years and above, has dropped to 3% of the population. Children and young people grow up in an environment shaped by conflict and instability, often lacking the care and support of an extended family network.
2 in 3
Children are malnourished

High food prices

More than 2 million Palestinians are considered food insecure with at least 1.6 million needing food assistance. As a result, approximately a quarter of children under the age of 5 suffer from anemia, two thirds from zinc deficiency and almost all from vitamin A and D deficiencies. Nutritional deficiencies have multiple effects on children’s physical and mental development. They can include an inability to concentrate in school and a weakened immune system.

2 in 5
Children do not go to secondary school

Boys dropping out

Many Palestinian children lack access to safe schooling. In addition to ongoing conflict, many children travel through checkpoints to get to school facing harassment. While 60% of young Palestinians say education is their priority, at least 25% of boys and almost 10% of girls drop out of school by the age of 15. A poor educational background has a profound effect on the future of children, limiting social development, and worsening employment prospects.

Of the population lives in poverty

Children are poor

Around 1.5 million people, 30% of the population, live in poverty, unable to afford food, clothing, or shelter. This is coupled with a national unemployment rate around 25%, falling household incomes and rising cost of living. Children are disproportionately affected by the consequences of poverty, and often work or beg to help support their family. Child labour deprives children of their rights, exposes them to violence, and physical and mental harm.

Together we can make a difference for children in Palestine

Emergency support services
Were delivered
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Attend our kindergarten and trainings
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Baker Awad is a psychologist in an emergency response programme in Gaza. It is run by SOS Children’s Villages Palestine to support children and young people who have been affected by conflict. Their behavior often changes and they need specialized support. “We have a lot of success stories, and we noticed a clear improvement for children after participating in the programme,” says Baker (photo: S. Inani).

Working together for sustainable development

In 2015, leaders from 193 countries committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This 15 year plan aims to improve the lives of people by ending poverty, fighting inequality and protecting the planet.
GOAL 1: End poverty
SOS Children’s Villages supports families and communities to keep families together and to help them break out of the cycle of poverty.
GOAL 4: Ensure quality education for all
Every child and young person SOS Children’s Villages supports has access to education, from kindergarten right up to vocational training or university.
GOAL 8: Equal job opportunities for all
SOS Children’s Villages supports young people in developing the skills and self-confidence they need to find decent work and trains parents so that they can have a stable income.
GOAL 10: Reduce inequalities
SOS Children’s Villages works to keep children safe, by promoting peaceful and inclusive communities. We provide training on children’s rights and positive parenting.
GOAL 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies
We advocate laws and practices that ensure social inclusion and protection for children and young people without parental care or from marginalized households.

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives