December 28, 2012

Gaza humanitarian crisis

Situation:

Recent cross-border violence in Palestinian-controlled Gaza and Israel has worsened the humanitarian situation in Gaza, where, following an Israel military offensive in early November, 163 Palestinians perished – 42 of them children and 22 of them women.

The psychosocial and health conditions, especially those of children living in Gaza, is a major concern which needs to be addressed. CWS is supporting efforts of fellow ACT Alliance members in the region.

While this appeal reflects work needed in the wake of events since mid-November, the humanitarian situation in Gaza during 2011 and 2012 continued to be characterized by poverty, unemployment, forced displacement, lack of access to basic goods and services, impeded freedom of movement, aid dependency, food insecurity, confiscation and inadequate access to healthcare, education, jobs and markets.

Israeli military, settler and Palestinian factional and radical violence have all contributed to a deteriorating situation.

CWS response:

ACT Alliance members working in the region are expanding their work, with an emphasis on health and psychosocial work, economic support and food security efforts.

ACT members CWS is supporting in this effort include Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), Christian Aid (CA), the Middle East Council of Churches/Department of Service to Palestine Refugees (MECC/DSPR), International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and DanChurchAid (DCA).

The CWS-supported effort focuses on responses to benefit those in Gaza who sustained physical or psychological trauma and people who are in urgent need of emergency assistance after the November events.

Below is a more specific description of the targeted beneficiaries for the different ACT members and their implementing partners in Gaza.

1. Activities implemented by NCA/ Al Ahli Arab Hospital. Efforts will include treatment of 300 children injured during the November military action. As well: 30 reconstruction and plastic surgeries related to war; 70 orthopedic surgeries for war injuries; 300 poor in need of surgical and medical hospitalization; 200 underweight and malnourished children will receive care, including feeding; 900 women, men and staff members will receive psychosocial support; 1,200 vulnerable outpatients will receive free medical care through the free medical mission program twice weekly; 200 chronically ill women and men will receive free treatment.

2. Work implemented by CA and its local partners will repair a play area for children; provide psycho-social support for at least 1,000 children (ages 6 to 12) and 120 youth. Also planned: psycho-social support for at least 100 women and 100 families and hygiene kits for 600 women.

3. Work by DSPR/ MECC will focus on efforts assisting 4,000 families in Gaza by providing cash support. Assistance will be provided to 100 families whose homes were damaged. Approximately 90 unemployed men and women will benefit from the generation of 5,000 working days in the fields of general medicine, pharmacy, lab assistance and office support; 10,000 patients, both male and female, will benefit from partially covered medical services; 10,000 women, 170 men, 1500 children, and 220 students will benefit from psychosocial work.

4. IOCC’s work will focus on the rehabilitation of water supply systems: 525 beneficiaries (70 households) in Gaza North; 450 beneficiaries (60 households) in Gaza; 450 beneficiaries (60 households) in Rafah. Another program will focus on the rehabilitation of agricultural land/ greenhouses damaged during the crisis -- 300 beneficiaries (40 households) in Gaza North; 75 beneficiaries (10 households) in the Middle Area; 113 beneficiaries (15 households) in Khan Yunis; 113 beneficiaries (15 households) in Rafah. Cash relief and non-food items such as blankets, baby supplies, and shelter materials will also be provided to selected families and individuals.

In addition to these actions, DCA is heading ACT member efforts for advocacy work to promote a global discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This will focus on promoting human rights and peace.

Budget: NCA activities - $407,806; Christian Aid activities - $152,550; MECC-DSPR activities - $1,505,921; IOCC activities - $355,309. DCA activities - $75,932.

How to help:

Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts around the world may be sent to your denomination, or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. (REF: GAZA HUMANITARIAN CRISIS # 6828)

ACT Alliance  Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.