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).

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