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Ramallah, August 27, 2014 – As the humanitarian situation in Gaza worsens and living conditions rapidly deteriorate, Global Communities continues to provide emergency humanitarian support to internally displaced persons in Gaza. This assistance began in the early days of the recent crisis, and was amplified this week thanks to the contributions of Palestinian private sector companies.
The Palestine Development Foundation, a subsidiary of the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) donated $200,000, and the Arab Palestinian Investment Company (APIC) donated $50,000. This enabled Global Communities staff in Gaza to procure and distribute emergency supplies such as food, mattresses, and basic hygiene products for 4,000 families affected by the current crisis in Gaza. Despite the harsh and dangerous conditions of operating in Gaza, the Global Communities team distributed assistance to displaced families seeking refuge in designated shelters, including UNRWA and government schools.
Commenting on overcoming the challenges of coordinating and delivering emergency assistance during such dire circumstances, Lana Abu Hijleh, Global Communities Country Director in the West Bank and Gaza stated: “We have been working in Gaza for the past 20 years, and this is not the first time that we have faced a major humanitarian crisis as a result of military attacks and the blockade of the Gaza Strip. In response, we have shifted our focus to emergency relief. However, this war has been the most difficult to deal with on a humanitarian level, especially when considering the number of displaced people who were forced to abandon their homes and take refuge in shelters belonging to UNRWA, public schools, other public buildings, or with host families.”
The number of internally displaced persons has exceeded 500,000; thousands of homes have been destroyed; and the infrastructure, especially water, sewage, and electricity services, in addition to health facilities, has suffered major damage. “The massive response to such a crisis required coordination of relief efforts among Palestinian government institutions, Palestinian civil society, various United Nations agencies, international institutions, and the Palestinian private sector. The donations from PIF and APIC were key in allowing Global Communities to provide assistance to the most needy. The expertise of our team in Gaza allowed us to monitor and respond to urgent needs on a daily basis, and to identify and implement the best means of distribution.
Haddad added: “This contribution will not be the last. There will be future contributions designed to have a positive impact on helping normalize life for our people in Gaza.”
Global Communities will continue to partner with the private sector, international organizations, and other donors in order to help secure the necessary assistance for Palestinians in Gaza. So far, Global Communities has provided assistance, funded by various donors, to over 20,000 families – approximately 140,000 individuals – and is committed to alleviating the humanitarian disaster in Gaza. In the near future, Global Communities intends to partner with various stakeholders to prepare for reconstruction of Gaza.