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Violence has escalated in Palestine after months of ongoing tension across the region. In Gaza specifically, Nearly five thousand people have been killed, thousands more have been injured, and hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee. A ‘total blockade’ was announced, completely cutting off two million residents from access to food, electricity, and fuel – including innocent children. And while some aid trucks were able to cross in from Egypt on Oct. 21, it is no where near enough, and many of the most-needed items were still not allowed in.
At least four hospitals are no longer functioning due to bombardments while makeshift tents have been set up at the largest hospital in Khan Younis to accommodate the injured. UNRWA has confirmed that all hospitals have a maximum capacity of fuel to run external generators for 24 hours, and after that, there will be no power supply in the hospitals across the Strip. If humanitarian assistance doesn’t arrive, doctors will have to “prepare death certificates for their patients.”
“The situation is extremely terrifying. I am writing these words and my house is shaking due to the intense bombing. Today the mosque near our house was targeted and totally destroyed. My kids were playing in the living room when they heard the loud explosions. They came crying and screaming in fear of the bombs. As an adult who has lived [through] tons of escalations in the last years, I feel terrified. I feel this time we might not be able to survive.
We have prepared a bag with all our belongings in case we need to evacuate. Some of our memories [and] belongings with sentimental value: our university certificates, our wedding video, and our documents like IDs [and] birth certificates. The airstrikes are destroying everything. I can’t imagine Gaza after this ends [if] we survive. I can’t think of the destruction that we will see.” – Islamic Relief Staff
Islamic Relief is working with local partners to provide emergency relief to families in Gaza including food aid, essential non-food items such as hygiene kits, and vital medical supplies. Stay tuned to this page for updates as they are made available.
Living under occupation and a constant threat of violence, Palestinians have been robbed of nearly every basic human right. Food insecurity; poor water quality; limited access to healthcare; lack of education opportunities; high unemployment; and restricted movement are only a few of the many problems the people of Palestine are forced to face in their daily lives.
Gaza has been described as an “open-air prison.” Years of restrictions on movement coupled with blockades have left over 2 million residents stuck with little hope of bettering their lives. Reports conclude that Gaza will soon become “unlivable” if this continues. The Palestinian refugee crisis is one of the biggest our world has faced. More than 7 million Palestinians have been displaced.
Our hope is to show the people of Palestine they have not been forgotten. Join us and support our brothers and sisters in their time of need.
Islamic Relief has been working in Palestine for over two decades. Our legacy across the country has grown to help hundreds of thousands of people every year. Not only do we provide immediate emergency relief, but we work with our partners to implement long-term development programs that will help rebuild Palestine and bring hope to its people. Our efforts are expansive, covering nearly every sector Islamic Relief and its supporters have dedicated their time and energy to. This includes:
THERE ARE MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW WE GET AID INTO PALESTINE.
We hear you! So we want to let you know how our teams work on the ground to deliver your donations to the people in need.
Most items that come into Gaza first come through commercial entities, not through NGOs. These commercial suppliers are approved and are usually allowed in, especially for food items and medical supplies. Whenever borders are closed, Islamic Relief has prequalified suppliers and that enables us to procure items quickly from within Gaza to meet immediate needs. Some of our partners are able to bring in-kind donations from outside Gaza and the West Bank. Items can sometimes get blocked during escalations, when borders are closed, or if there are delays at the Karem Abu Salem crossing (the main crossing for goods into Gaza). However, they do usually get through. We work hard to ensure that these essential supplies as well as what is available in local markets, are available for the immediate need.
The Islamic Relief family has been on the ground in Gaza for the past 25 years. Islamic Relief USA, specifically, receives updates on the community’s immediate needs through organizations with local staff and offices. We have a long and successful history of working through established local partnerships to deliver urgent support and implement development projects for Palestinians, including improving access to healthcare, psychosocial support, education, and livelihoods. Together, our response is that much stronger and wider in reach, especially when it is needed most.
During times of crisis and emergency, banks and monetary institutions are often impacted. This can prevent families from accessing banks and withdrawing funds. Humanitarian organizations have existing relationships with banks and available funds on reserve that they can access and utilize during such emergency crises to ensure a quick response.
Humanitarian organizations are able to assess needs on the ground on a wider scale, and in coordination with relevant actors (i.e. ministries and UN Clusters) to determine the best way to utilize funds as per the urgent needs on the ground. Humanitarian organizations also have standards they must maintain to ensure high-quality assistance is provided such as operating standards and quality of aid, while also ensuring there is no duplication so that every person can be reached equitably.
Islamic Relief already has active and ongoing relationships through its partners on the ground who maintain local offices and can quickly implement aid directly, especially during emergencies. When working with local partners, these relationships are already determined before a project is signed and before funds are transferred.
The humanitarian needs across Palestine are immense, with approximately 80% of Palestinians relying on humanitarian agencies to meet their basic needs. Unfortunately, big governments don’t provide enough assistance to reach all those in need and major cuts in funding in recent years have only made this worse.
Transparency is our key value. That is why we post pictures, share videos, and, most importantly, we account for every dollar given through reports on our website and audits every single year.