Gaza: New Zealand charities explain how Kiwis can help starving Palestinian children

The United Nations is asking the international community to support humanitarian efforts in Gaza as "imminent famine" looms.

The population of 2.3 million - which includes 1 million children - is facing what's been described as "catastrophic hunger".

There are reports of people living on lemons and a wild plant named khobiza that is then turned into a thin soup.

Gazans are risking their lives to secure food.

Some have drowned swimming out to air-dropped aid that landed in the ocean, while others were killed when a pallet landed on them after a parachute dropping aid failed to properly deploy.

New Zealand charities that advocate for children say there are things Kiwis can do to help.

"People can help and they must not give up hope because they can help," said UNICEF Aotearoa CEO Michelle Sharp.

The organisation said an easy way to contribute is by donating money to charities who work on the ground in Gaza.

"We have a thing called Plumpy'nut that we actually use around the world. It's therapeutic food and it's like a peanut butter paste. Literally one sachet of that a day can really start transforming a young child's nutritional needs," Sharp told Newshub.

"People can help and they must not give up hope because they can help," says UNICEF Aotearoa CEO Michelle Sharp.
"People can help and they must not give up hope because they can help," says UNICEF Aotearoa CEO Michelle Sharp. Photo credit: Newshub.

Save the Children NZ told Newshub money raised also goes to therapeutic food, water sanitation and medical supplies.

"We collate the money here in New Zealand. We periodically send over lump sums to our offices closer to the conflict in Gaza. It's that ability to pull our funds together from many countries that is really a point of difference. We can buy things in bulk," said Save the Children NZ child rights advocacy and research director Jacqui Southey.

Unicef Aotearoa said Kiwis can also hold their own fundraiser with the proceeds going to help those in the conflict.

"We've been really impressed by how many people have got together and made a decision to start different types of fundraising. It could be cooking cupcakes for example at your local school," said Sharp.

"There are lots of ideas and lots of resources. We're really happy to help you in terms of what is working for other people."

Southey encourages New Zealanders to keep contacting those in power.

"So writing to MPs, writing to our Prime Minister, our Minister of Foreign Affairs and telling them that we want them to call for an end to this war," Southey told Newshub.

Unicef Aotearoa has raised more than $1 million for Gaza in the last few months thanks to the generosity of New Zealanders.

Save the Children NZ has raised close to $200,000.

"Stay interested, don't give up. This war has gone on for months. It's incredibly brutal. It's difficult to watch. It's difficult to see the harm that is being done to children and families," Southey told Newshub.

"All children deserve the right to childhood. These are the children of Gaza and the children of Israel," Sharp added.