Middle East Crisis - resources

Following the escalating crisis in the Middle East, RCPCH has put together this page to signpost to key resources.
Last modified
23 April 2024


Since 7 October 2023, the escalating crisis in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory has caused large numbers of civilian deaths, injuries and harm, including to children and young people and health workers and those providing aid. As a College, we are deeply concerned by the situation facing the region. 

The RCPCH’s role is fundamentally to advocate for the best interests of children and paediatricians around the world, whoever they are and wherever they may be. We aim to do so without engaging in political commentary or judgement.

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

The RCPCH is not responsible for these organisations and this signposting resource is therefore not intended to be viewed necessarily as endorsement. The RCPCH remain committed to listening and learning, and this page will be reviewed regularly, and additional links may be added in due course. 

RCPCH action

We have published the following statements:

Statement responding to the deteriorating situation in the region: Following initial reports of escalating violence, we put together a statement on 20 October 2023.

Food security: We responded to concerns raised by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Partnership that 1.1 million people in Gaza are experiencing catastrophic food insecurity and that famine is imminent. In our statement of 21 March we called for action from the international community. 

Political action: We wrote to the then Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, the Rt Hon James Cleverly, in October 2023 calling on the UK to use their diplomatic channels to call for the prioritisation and protection of children and young people whoever they are and wherever they may be in this conflict.

We wrote again to Lord Cameron, in November 2023 as he stepped into the role of Secretary of State, highlighting our deep concerns. Our newly elected President wrote again in April 2024 to advocate for the children and young people, their families and those providing healthcare and aid in the region. 

Statements from other paediatric organisations

Across the world, paediatric organisations have raised their concerns about the Middle East crisis, including:  

Action you may wish to take

World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with partners to address the most urgent health needs in the region. 
More information on its operational response plan and public health situation analysis and situation reports is available on the WHO website.

Donating time or money

Donating through established and well-coordinated emergency response appeal mechanisms is an effective way to support people.

Highlighting your own views

Writing to your MP: You may wish to write to your MP to express your views. You can find who your current MP is and their email address.

Support on looking after yourself during times of difficulty  

Support if you or your family are impacted directly 

For those who are directly affected by the situation, because either you or a loved one live in the region you might find the following websites useful:

Refugee Council – Support and information for people affected by the crisis in Palestine

Gov.uk – Government advice for those entering the Palestinian Overseas Territories. The FCDO recommends all British nationals in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to register their presence. 

Hate crimes

Recent news reports show that people are experiencing hate crimes in different parts of the UK relating to the crisis in Israel Palestine. 

A hate crime, as outlined by the Government, can include verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment, assault and damage to property.

Should you be subjected to an act of hate crime you can report this online or call 101 to speak to the police. Call 999 if you’re reporting a crime that’s in progress or if someone is in immediate danger. Witnesses can also report a hate crime.

There are several national organisations that offer support to victims of hate crime. They provide services such as helplines, guidance, confidential safety advice and training. Some may be able to report a hate crime on a victim’s behalf.

Maintaining your health and wellbeing

Your wellbeing is an absolute priority. Remember you can find out more on our wellbeing pages, and below there are a range of links to help you manage your own health and wellbeing.

England: NHS England has made available a range of support services available to help you manage your own health and wellbeing. This web page outlines ‘support now’, ‘health and wellbeing programmes’ and ‘how-to guides’

Wales: The CALL (Community Advice & Listening Line) Mental Health helpline is available 24 hours a day to listen and provide support. Call 0800 132737 or text ‘Help’ to 81066. For urgent mental health support call NHS 111 and press option 2, this is a free 24 hour line that anyone can use, in English or in Welsh. Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) has launched a wellbeing site and resources for health professionals

Northern Ireland: You may wish to have a look at Northern Ireland’s Minding your head list of resources, which gives a directory of mental health support locally to you. Similarly HSCNI produces a localised list of mental health and wellbeing services within each health and social care trust area.

Scotland: NHS 24 has a range of support services for health professionals and their families, covering mental health and wellbeing - this includes an app, CBT programmes and other tools. You may also wish to have a look at Breathing Space which has a 24 hour free helpline on 0800 83 85 87. 

Clinical support and guidance

Working in fragile and conflict-affected states - As a College, we have a mandate in our mission statement to support improving child health in the UK and around the world. RCPCH Global’s strategic plan includes explicit commitment to work in the poorest countries. Many low-income countries are also classified as ‘fragile and/or conflict-affected’. Our position may be helpful to read. You can read more about our global child health programmes.

Rights of migrant, refugee, stateless and undocumented children - our position (2019) – Our noting that as outlined in the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, every child has the right to voice, protection, health and education. We urge all states to recognise and realise their obligation to children's access to healthcare.