In Pictures: The toll on Gaza's children - Al Jazeera English

In Pictures: The toll on Gaza's children

After losing their homes and watching family members die, many children in Gaza require psychological support.

Karim Haddad | | Humanitarian crises, Health, War & Conflict, Middle East, Gaza

Politicians and donors from around the world are meeting with Palestinian officials in Cairo to talk about rebuilding Gaza. The conservatively estimated price tag from the last war is $4bn, and aid agencies have said that under current restrictions, the process will take 20 years.

But the chance of another round of violence in the coming years remains high. For those who have survived previous wars, the psychological costs have already been immense - especially for the children.

More than half of the population in Gaza is below the age of 18. Most of the youth in this besieged territory have already witnessed three wars, each one worse than the last. At least 2,150 people in Gaza were killed during the most recent war, including more than 500 children. More than 3,500 children were injured, many now struggling with life-long disabilities.

The psychological trauma endured by all the young survivors is hard to overestimate: The United Nations believes that over half of the children in Gaza now need significant support. Tens of thousands witnessed firsthand the killings of family members, neighbours and friends, and many lost their homes.

Today, as residents look to rebuild from the rubble of their demolished homes, a considerable amount of psychological and social rebuilding must happen simultaneously.

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