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CPS calls for children’s needs to be prioritized in Gaza

Mar 1, 2024

As paediatricians and allied children’s health care providers, we mourn the ongoing devastation and loss of life and security in Gaza, where thousands have died and approximately 1 million children are internally displaced and face imminent starvation and an uncertain future.

We stand with the WHO, UNICEF, and Médecins sans Frontières in calling for an immediate and sustained ceasefire and for the safe return of all remaining hostages taken in the horrific attack of October 7, 2023.

As advocates for the well-being of children and youth, we call on all stakeholders and policymakers to uphold these principles in making decisions concerning the ongoing situation in the Middle East:

Children deserve special consideration in times of war and conflict.
Children in Gaza, like children everywhere, deserve a future free from violence, pain, and trauma. We must use our privilege and voice to advocate for their healthcare, education, and access to the necessities of life including shelter, clean water, and nutritious food.

Humanitarian aid – including clean water, shelter, food, and medical supplies– is urgently needed
All parties must allow the free passage and delivery of aid into Gaza and facilitate its delivery to children and families in need.

Canada must do everything in its power to facilitate the evacuation and safe passage of children identified through its special temporary resident pathway.
In the six weeks since it was announced, no children have been successfully evacuated under Canada’s special pathway. We call on our politicians to work tirelessly to remove these children from harm’s way and assist their entry into Canadian life by ensuring they receive the health care, shelter, education, and psychosocial supports needed upon arrival.

Children's needs must be prioritized in rebuilding efforts.
Communities must be cleared of undetonated explosives before families return. Plans for rebuilding and restoration must prioritize the infrastructure children need to thrive: safe family housing, schools, and healthcare facilities.

Furthermore, the CPS extends its support and gratitude to the health care professionals who have cared for patients in Gaza under near impossible circumstances. Remaining health care facilities and supplies should be protected from the impacts of further conflict.


Last updated: Mar 1, 2024

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