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Gaza Emergency Appeal

20 May 2021


Today, we’ve launched an urgent appeal to help provide humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza. For almost two weeks, they have been living under heavy bombardment, reducing homes, schools and hospitals to rubble, and leaving our sisters and brothers with nowhere to hide or flee for safety.

In total, more than 235 people have now died in Gaza and the West Bank, including 74 children. Thousands of people have been injured and forced to flee their homes. And the number of casualties continues to rise.

For over 14 years, Gaza has been under a total land and air blockade controlled by Israel, with a small southern section controlled by Egypt. Even before this conflict began, more than half of Gazans had no access to nutritious food, and were trapped in a cycle of poverty, food insecurity and unemployment. Living in one of the most densely populated areas in the world, and denied their most basic rights, they are experiencing unimaginable fear and suffering. 

In addition, amid the destruction, experts are warning of a surge in coronavirus cases. With vaccination rates as low as 1.9% in Gaza, compared with 56% in Israel, increased transmission will kill the oldest and most vulnerable first. 

Gaza emergency appeal

Through the global Caritas network, SCIAF is working with our colleagues at Caritas Jerusalem – an organisation with a long track record of providing essential services to the desperately poor population in Gaza. 

 Sister Bridget Tighe, Secretary General of Caritas Jerusalem, explains:

"The bombings are extremely heavy. The people of Gaza have lived through many wars over many years, but everyone agrees that this time it is completely different. They are trapped in this densely populated strip of land at the mercy of intense air bombardment with nowhere to flee for safety."

While the continuous bombardment means Caritas Jerusalem cannot yet intervene, they are urgently preparing for when safe access is available. Caritas needs adequate resources to provide essential medical care, psychological support, food, and other basic items to the affected populations in the Gaza strip.

Our sisters and brothers in Gaza are traumatised by years of restrictions and violence, and desperately need your help. Please keep them in your prayers, and reach out in love to help them in their hour of need.