Paediatricians call for protection of children and families in the Middle East

As a Royal Medical College, working on behalf of children, young people and child health professionals, we remain deeply concerned at the devastating situation and continued loss of life in the Middle East.

RCPCH Global Officer Dr Susan Broster said:

Consistent with the recommendations of the World Health Organization,1 RCPCH urges the immediate return of all hostages, and the implementation of ceasefire without delay. Alongside this there must be an expansion of medical supplies, immediate medical assistance and support for families, parents and children, including psychosocial support for trauma, across the region. Those who are providing aid and medical assistance must be able to safely access children and their families with lifesaving services and supplies. 

As of March 2024, the latest analysis from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Partnership indicate that 1.1million people in Gaza are experiencing catastrophic food insecurity and that famine is imminent.2 3 Access to food and water is essential, and a matter of inalienable human rights. Right now, children are dying from the combined impact of disease and malnutrition.3 The international community must work together to seek a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict, prevent the situation worsening and, above all, stop children from suffering further avoidable and indefensible harm.

For RCPCH members, we have put together signposting to resources and links that you may wish to read, use and take forward. We have aimed to identify a range of resources which will be useful to paediatricians.

  • 1World Health Organisation sit rep report 11 January 2024:
  • 2Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, IPC: GAZA STRIP: Famine is imminent as 1.1 million people, half of Gaza, experience catastrophic food insecurity, accessed 19 March 2024,
  • 3 a b WHO statement, Famine in Gaza is imminent, with immediate and long-term health consequences, 18 March 2024, plus an outline of who is the IPC;