Minister of Social Affairs and Minister of Agriculture Shawqi Issa and Humanitarian Coordinator James W. Rawley launched Friday the Gaza Crisis Appeal.
“My thoughts are for the people of Gaza today and my words are directed to the political leaders and the parties to the conflict: the most fundamental principle of humanity calls for stopping the killings. We need an immediate end to the human suffering of the people in Gaza,” Rawley was quoted in a press release.
The 2014 Gaza Crisis Appeal considers that the entire population of the Gaza Strip (1.8 million Palestinians) is affected by the ‘hostilities’ in multiple ways. The Appeal focuses on supporting access to health and water as well as catering for the needs of the displaced people in Gaza, including food assistance, blankets and mattresses as well as psychosocial support. Assistance will be provided by UN agencies and international and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
“A strong mobilization of resources is required to meet the most urgent needs, particularly those stemming from the massive number of displaced persons and those arising from wide-scale damage to infrastructure,” said Rawley, and added: “but resources will mean little if the blockade on Gaza and the denial of Palestinian rights continue. As a first step, all humanitarian agencies should receive safe passage or safe access.”
“Ongoing hostilities in Gaza, including bombardment and combat in heavily populated areas, have severely limited the ability of medical staff to save lives, of aid workers to meet needs, or for technicians to repair damage to infrastructure vital to the population,” added Rawley and called for stopping the Israeli military aggression on Gaza.
On his part, Issa said: “I speak on behalf of the Gazan children to the nations that helped write and develop international humanitarian law, but who have failed to apply it to the Question of Palestine. This failure makes you responsible for the safety and lives of those of us who have not been killed yet.”
He added: “I call upon those nations to hold Israel responsible for the war crimes it committed, end the aggression and the siege, and provide humanitarian assistance to cover the minimum needs to keep Palestinians alive. The only way to end the suffering is to end the occupation.”
The Gaza Crisis Appeal presents a preliminary strategy of the humanitarian community to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs that have arisen as a result of the current emergency in the Gaza Strip, focusing on the groups that have been rendered the most vulnerable. This includes displaced persons, the injured, the elderly, children, women, and farmers and fishermen who have lost their livelihoods.
Issa thanked the UN agencies involved in humanitarian relief for the people of Gaza and the countries and international organizations that have contributed to the aid efforts.
The Gaza Crisis Appeal was developed in consultation with the State of Palestine in order to ensure coherence with Palestinian strategies for response.