* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Gaza City - July 28, 2014
On Friday and Saturday, Global Communities’ Gaza team provided emergency food aid to 2,000 displaced families in the Gaza Strip, approximately 14,000 people. The food parcels were delivered to families in UN shelters in Gaza City and in Khan Younis. Global Communities is preparing to provide both food and non-food assistance to several thousand more families in the coming days.
“This is not just about the last three weeks,” says Mohammed Al Shareef, Country Representative for Global Communities in Gaza. “This humanitarian crisis is about the last eight years. There is an ongoing crisis that just gets worse, and will not go away when ceasefires are finally heeded. We will still be there to assist the most vulnerable people affected by the situation in the Gaza Strip.”
Global Communities Gaza team has worked in Gaza since 1994. Since then, they have run a microfinance program and every year provide food aid to 85,000 of the most vulnerable people in the Strip. They have also run infrastructure and urban agriculture programs, and the team has responded to both the previous conflicts in 2008-09 and 2012, providing food aid, shelter and livelihoods work for those most impacted.
“Massive displacement of whole communities has exacerbated the appalling humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” says Al Shareef. “This is the worst situation we have seen since the war in 2008-09.”
Since the conflict escalated on July 7, more than 760 civilians in Gaza have been killed, including 226 children and 117 women; more than 6,200 people have been injured, including 1,949 children and 1,160 women; and more than 215,000 people have been displaced. Global Communities’ aid is targeting those displaced families. Each food parcel contains bottled water, powdered milk, cheese, jam, zaatar, and canned goods including humous, peas, foul, beans, olives, meat, and tuna; enough to feed a family for 4-6 days. Up to date figures on the effects of the conflict can be found at UNOCHA’s website.