Christian Aid's Gaza Appeal tops £1 million

By agency reporter
September 3, 2014

Since the start of the latest round of violence in Gaza, partners of the UK-based churches global development agency Christian Aid have provided urgent healthcare to more than 18,000 people, clean water for 128,640 and food for 4,650.

Hanan Elmasu, Christian Aid’s Programme Manager, said: "Thanks to the generosity of the British public we have so far raised £1 million to provide desperately needed medical aid and emergency support, but there is still so much to be done.

"As the present ceasefire allows our partners to reach out further to those affected, the extent of people’s needs will become more apparent."

The extensive destruction of Gaza during the 50-day conflict has left 100,000 people without a home. Many are still camped in UN schools, preventing half a million children in Gaza from starting the academic year this week.

Hanan added: "As well as continuing to distribute food and water, and provide medical support, our partners can now offer longer term psychosocial support to some of those adversely affected by the violence. The hope is that this will also help them deal with the continuing uncertainty and insecurity they face.

"Christian Aid will continue to support people to rebuild their lives and hope for the future."

With almost half of Gaza’s population of 1.8 million under 14 years old, the UN has estimated that 373,000 children are showing symptoms of increasing distress and will require specialised psychosocial support.

During a previous ceasefire, Christian Aid partner Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA) opened their centres to children in Khan Younis, where they were given the space to express themselves and participate in activities such as art, drama and photography, providing a momentary respite from the violence.

With Christian Aid support, CFTA aims to provide psychosocial support to 2,600 children, women and men.

Hanan explains: "The destruction and devastation witnessed in the past seven weeks has been unprecedented and will require unparalleled support to rebuild lives free from fear and violence.

"However, this ceasefire cannot be the end of the road. It must be the first step in creating a permanent situation where people can rebuild their lives in the knowledge that they will not be threatened again by conflict.

"To ensure that this is the last ceasefire that will ever need to be negotiated, it must tackle the root causes of conflict and end the untenable situation that existed prior to recent hostilities.

"We believe that for this to happen, the climate of impunity must come to an end, and every individual and collective action must be accounted for.

"If Israelis and Palestinians are to be truly secure, and to end the poverty that degrades the lives of so many, the occupation must end and everyone must be treated equally. To reach this end, this ceasefire must be used as a stepping stone to ensure the dignity and accountability that is required to define a secure future for all."

* View a short film of children describing how they lived through the conflict, told to educators at Christian Aid partner Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA) at their centres in Khan Younis, Gaza. It was produced by CFTA during a short ceasefire.

* Christian Aid is part of the DEC Gaza Crisis Appeal which has now raised £11 million.


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