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Occupied Palestinian Territories: Gaza Humanitarian Appeal
DONATE NOW to support emergency relief to Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip affected by the flooding in December 2013.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR DONATION
You can donate to our Gaza Appeal via our secure online donation form, go to Section C One-off Donations & Appeals, and select GAZA from the drop-down list.
OR you can print a donation form here to fax/post to us.
OR you can phone our Sydney office on 1800 888 674 to make your donation.
Our mailing address & fax: Level 3, 377 Sussex St, Sydney NSW 2000;
Fax. (02) 9261 1118.
The storm that hit the Occupied Palestinian Territories on December 11 has now passed, but its impact is still being felt by Palestinian populations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The storm has intensified the dire humanitarian situation for many Palestinian populations, especially in the Gaza Strip, where there was heavy flooding. According to the report released by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), up to 6,000 people were evacuated from flooded homes to temporary shelters in the immediate aftermath of the storm, with 1,000 people still sheltering in schools in the Gaza Strip on 16 December. Four mobile pumps rented from Israel are facilitating water drainage from flooded areas, but at least five more pumps are needed (OCHA Report: 16 December). There is extensive damage to agricultural infrastructure, particularly greenhouses, fruit orchards, and the loss of more than 20,000 chickens.
The flooding has intensifying the existing fuel and energy crisis in Gaza. The Gaza Power Plant, which shut down on 1 November 2013, restarted limited operations on 15 December following an agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Qatar to purchase enough fuel for one month. But with damage to electricity feeder lines from Egypt & Israel, and with electricity demand at peak levels, rolling power outages are still occurring at 12 hours per day (OCHA Report: 16 December).
Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA is discussing priorities for relief with partner organisations Middle East Children's Alliance and Gaza Red Crescent, and will direct donations to the areas of greatest need in the current emergency.
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA urges monetary donations to this appeal so that funds may be distributed to our partners to implement their work. Unfortunately, Union Aid Abroad cannot accept donations of in-kind materials to this appeal because guaranteeing safe transport of goods to recipients is impossible at this time. Consequently, the most efficient means of Australian assistance is raising funds to be forwarded so that goods and materials may be purchased locally.
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA's Gaza Appeal
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA launched its Gaza Appeal in 2006, in response to a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza and urgent requests for assistance from our local partners. In 2013, the humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate as the Israeli economic blockade moves into its seventh year.
The Gaza Appeal has raised over A$787,000 to date. Approximately A$739,300 has been disbursed to our Palestinian partners to be used in projects to provide emergency food parcels and medical relief, as well as to strengthen the food security options for Palestinian families throughout the Gaza Strip.
Thank you to the Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA donors who have generously supported this appeal.
The blockade of Gaza - backgroundThe Gaza blockade entered its sixth year June 2012. The blockade by Israel is total - land, sea, air - and is regularly noted by the United Nations as a form of collective punishment on the Palestinian civilian population of the Gaza Strip.
In international law, collective punishment is prohibited under the Hague Convention 1907 (Article 50), the Third Geneva Convention 1949 (Article 87) and the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949 (Article 33), and thus amounts to a war crime.
The blockade was imposed by Israel after the Palestinian Hamas organisation took control over the security apparatus in the Gaza Strip in June 2007. UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ms Valerie Amos, said on 13 June 2012, "The blockade of Gaza, now entering its sixth year, has had a devastating impact on the lives and livelihoods of the 1.6 million Palestinians who reside there. More than 80 per cent of families are dependent on humanitarian aid, and Gaza
remains subject to severe restrictions on imports, exports and the movement of people, by land, air and sea. This amounts to a collective punishment of all those living in Gaza and is a denial of basic human rights in contravention of international law."
June 2012: FIVE YEARS OF BLOCKADE - Fast facts about the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip:
Click here to access UNOCHA's interactive information resource on the Gaza Strip blockade.
PAST SUPPORTAPRIL 2011: Australian physiotherapist volunteer visits El Wafa Hospital - click here to read Katrina Byrne's blogpost reflecting on her placement working with our partner in Gaza.
MEDICAL REHABILITATION SERVICES & OUT-CLINICS, and EMERGENCY AID PACKAGES, April-Sept. 2009, Oct.-Dec. 2009, July-Aug. 2010
Following the enormous fundraising efforts of the Muslim communities in Sydney in January 2009, A$570,600 was provided to our partner, the El Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital, in April 2009 to support their work assisting Palestinians with disabilities, particularly poor families who could not otherwise afford medical care. More recently, A$74,605 in funding was forwarded to the El Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital in June 2010 to continue this work.
This project assisted the El Wafa Hospital's work to provide rehabilitation services, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, cognitive therapy, speech therapy and out-clinics, for disabled Palestinians and their families. Part of the funding was also used to purchase medical equipment for the hospital, as well as to provide emergency aid packages - food aid and school kits - to Palestinian families in respect of the holy month of Ramadan.
The El Wafa Hospital recently produced a 10-minute video documenting their work in Gaza. You can view the video on the APHEDA YouTube site.
HEN DISTRIBUTION PROJECT, July 2008
In further efforts to bolster the food security of Gaza families, funds raised in Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA's ongoing appeal for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip has provided A$35,040 to a project distributing hens to approximately 163 Palestinian women and their families in Wadi al-Salqa and Almhata villages in the central area of the Gaza Strip. The project provides hens and roosts, as well as small opportunities for labour employment. The villages are located in Deir Al-Balah governorate in central Gaza strip, an agricultural area of approximately 28 square kilometres with a population of more than 60,000.
HEN DISTRIBUTION PROJECT, August 2007
Funds raised in Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA's ongoing appeal for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip has provided A$17,730 to a project distributing hens to approximately 54 Palestinian women and their families in Jout al-Lout village outside Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.
Poverty and conflict quickly exhaust family coping mechanisms, leaving a family increasingly vulnerable to deteriorating health and living conditions. Securing a family's food production resources is a major way to meet a family's health and nutrition needs, as well as providing the possibility of increasing and sustaining a source of income for the family. MA'AN Development Centre has extensive experience with food security programs throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
REPORT ON MEDICAL REHABILITATION PROGRAM, January-March 2007
El Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital is the only facility which provides medical support and services for severely disabled Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. With 2.3 percent of the Gazan population of 1.4 million suffering some form of physical disability, the El Wafa Hospital is the only place where patients - and their families - can access not only the technical aids needed to live with their disability, such as wheelchairs or crutches, but also the psychosocial support and community reintegration programs required to help them to live independently back in their communities.
With thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Palestine Relief Fund, a local Australian community organisation, and the generous support of the many donors to our recent appeals for Gaza, Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA forwarded A$15,000 to the El Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital in Gaza City.
Below are excerpts from El Wafa Hospital's report on the project activities
The Occupational Therapy department and Physical Therapy department utilised these aids during daily training with patients admitted to the inpatient department and clients of the outpatient department. The outpatient department treats approximately 70 cases per day while the inpatient department treats all cases admitted to El-Wafa medical rehabilitation hospital, with a current capacity of 52 beds. There is a 90 to 100% occupancy rate.
Technical aids were very helpful in assisting physically challenged people and newly injured persons achieve a considerable amount of self reliance and independence. They used these technical aids to transfer from bed, move about in their neighbourhoods, visit places where they used to go, and carry out their very basic needs.
Case report - Rafat Abu Sitta is a 35 year old male from Khan Younis city, married with 5 children. Rafat became disabled as a result of cancer. Consequently he lost his job and was the sole breadwinner for his family. During a field visit to Rafat's rented home in Khan Younis, he started telling his story and how he ended up bedridden. Rafat's children are all too young to help him transfer from the bed to the floor or vice versa, and his wife was the only caregiver to look after her husband and children, as well as do all the housework, cooking, shopping etc. Rafat's dream was to be able to leave his room to see the street again and be able to talk to people once again. Thanks to this project, Rafat was provided with a wheelchair, which made it possible for him for the first time in five years go downtown with his children and buy them some school supplies.
REPORT ON FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM IN QARARA VILLAGE, January-March 2007
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA's appeal provided A$14,844 in funding to a program to enhance the food security of poor Palestinian families in Qarara village in the southern Gaza Strip. In an effort to provide an effective food security option for Palestinian families, MA'AN Development Centre provided each family with rabbits, cages and short training courses in animal husbandry. A small project such as this can help to diversify and improve a family's nutrition sources, while also providing an outlet for the family to earn an income from the sale of their rabbits' offspring.
Below are excerpts from MA'AN's report on the project activities
This project directly benefited forty families through access to meat produced through the rabbits' multiplication phenomena and utilization of training on animal husbandry. Socially, women will also enjoy increased confidence to participate in the work sector. The larger community will enjoy greater food security from access to rabbit's meat and increased income. The surrounding environment will improve due to the use of animal manure in gardens, replacing chemical inputs in agriculture.
REPORT ON EMERGENCY FOOD PARCELS, October 2006
In July 2006, A$11,500 was forwarded to our local partner, MA'AN Development Centre, and used to provide 175 poor families - approximately 1280 people - with a month's supply of basic food necessities. Poor local farmers also benefited as their vegetables and fruit, which cannot be exported due to the Israeli closures and incursions, were purchased by MA'AN for this emergency program. Food assistance parcels were distributed over four regions:
Each parcel contained 14 basic food items, such as flour, rice, sugar, vegetable oil, salt, beans, chickpeas etc. The following criteria were used to identify beneficiaries: family income, family size, female-headed households, families directly affected by the occupation, families who have not previously received other aid from other organisations.
Download full report:
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