Relief effort continues in war devastated Gaza

By agency reporter
January 21, 2009

The UK-based international development agency Christian Aid is sending emergency funds to its partner organisations in Gaza to help them respond to the humanitarian crisis.

The move follows the recent temporary ceasefire by Israel and Hamas, announced on 18 January after more than two weeks of bombardment by the IDF which killed nearly 1,300 Palestinians, and a continuing flow of rockets from militants into southern Israel which cost few lives but caused fear and damage.

The Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC) plans to distribute emergency food baskets to the most vulnerable families in Gaza.

The organisation will buy the bulk of the food from local farmers and women cooperatives. PARC has experience in implementing similar programmes during previous emergency situations.

The PARC headquarters in Zeitun took a direct hit and were then used as an Israeli military post. All its computers and furniture were destroyed.

In addition, all the PARC greenhouses, trees, plants, water sources and agricultural facilities were bulldozed. It is now working from a rented apartment in Gaza City.

The Culture and Free Thought Association has received £30,000 to provide emergency food to 200 displaced families in Khan Younis. They will also receive flooring carpet and blankets.

The Palestinian Medical Relief Society is providing emergency healthcare and 24-hour medical and ambulance services.

The Near East Council of Churches (NECC) has re-opened its clinics in Daraj and Rafah. The NECC clinic in Sujaya has been completely destroyed.

"We need the international community to do all it can to ensure the ceasefire holds," says a spokesperson from NECC. "People in Gaza are tired of violence.

"Many houses have been destroyed, families have lost loved ones, industry and farming is devastated; people are in a miserable state now.

"People are not sure that the ceasefire will continue. They are afraid that it will be broken and we will return back to the war and the destruction."

You can also buy Christian Aid gifts and support present aid online.

Keywords:gaza | christian aid
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