Christian Aid launches emergency appeal to address the humanitarian needs of civilians in Gaza
Christian Aid is appealing to people across the South West to back its Gaza appeal with prayer, action and donations.
The appeal has been launched against a backdrop of escalating violence and humanitarian needs as over 140,000 displaced people seek refuge.
Christian Aid’s Head of Middle East Janet Symes said:
“The horrific escalation of violence in the region means the levels of need on the ground will continue to rise at a dramatic rate. We have launched the Gaza appeal to help those whose lives have been devastated by the ongoing violence. Access to healthcare, food and fuel is under serious threat; this destruction needs to end so that people can get the help they so desperately need. Christian Aid is urging the international community to act immediately to bring about a ceasefire and address the root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to prevent this happening again. The current crisis is a result of decades of political failure. Without genuine dialogue and a determination from all sides to achieve a just peace, Palestinians and Israelis will be destined to live through the horrors of violence again and again.
The appeal provides supporters with an opportunity to put pressure on Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to take decisive action to help bring about both a ceasefire and investigations into attacks on civilians as well as prayers and reflections and an opportunity to donate.
Christian Aid partners on the ground have described widespread destruction to agricultural land and homes, as well as a severe shortage of medical supplies in hospitals treating the wounded with reports that the health system is close to collapse.
Since the start of the emergency at least 18 medical facilities have been hit by airstrikes and shelling including the only rehabilitation hospital in Gaza.
Christian Aid partner Palestinian Medical Relief Society, (PMRS) is currently operating two mobile clinics one in North Gaza and one in Gaza City. They are also providing services in three UN shelters - which had previously acted as schools - aiming to reach 8,000 people a day with healthcare and treatment.
PMRS mobile clinics director Dr Hassan Zain Eldeen said: “People are frightened. They can’t understand everything that has happened. Maybe they will understand, but for now are living through the most traumatic horrors.”
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights is monitoring the human rights situation, but for other Christian Aid partners it is too dangerous to begin to respond.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that 125,000 children are in need of psychosocial support. As soon as there is a ceasefire Christian Aid partner, the Culture and Free Thought Association, will begin that process.
Another Christian Aid partner, the Agricultural Development Association, is ready to support the immediate livelihood needs of fishermen who have had their boats and nets damaged or destroyed in sea strikes by the Israeli military, as well as farmers living in northern Gaza whose agricultural lands have been targeted.
For more details visit: www.christianaid.org.uk/emergencies/current/gaza-emergency-appeal/ or text HELP to 70007 to give £5.
Christian Aid is explicit in its concern for the security of Israeli and Palestinians alike and publicly condemns the escalating violence by all sides.
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