Navigation Links
Temporary Cease Fires Not Enough for Humanitarian Aid Groups Working in Gaza
Date:1/8/2009

U.S.-Based Alliance of relief organizations offers five action steps to improve response

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Despite the recent three-hour cease fires to allow the delivery of food and medical supplies to residents of the Palestinian territory, upwards of 750,000 people still lack access to food, clean water and medical help. U.S.-based international humanitarian aid organizations working in the region see this arrangement to allow sporadic delivery of aid as inhumane and insufficient.

Sam Worthington, President & CEO of the U.S.-based alliance of aid groups known as InterAction, says "The aid provided during the short cease fires is just a drop in the bucket when compared to need. Families still able to live in their homes are traumatized after 13 days of intense fighting and fear becoming moving targets in the battle if they leave their homes to seek supplies. Fleeing is unfortunately not an option for the civilian population."

Mercy Corps' team in Jerusalem reports that Israel's new daily three-hour ceasefire to allow aid into the Gaza Strip has not made any noticeable difference. "It hasn't changed our reality," says David Holdridge, Mercy Corps Regional Program Director for the Middle East. "We're still dealing with the same approval processes for aid, and only a limited number of trucks are going in each day - not nearly enough to satisfy the pressing needs for food, shelter, medical supplies and other items."

Hatem Shurrab, an Islamic Relief staffer also working in Gaza and currently writing a daily "Aid Worker Diary" for BBC News, says things are so dire that he "met a mother who was burning paper in order to boil water for her child. She was doing this because she had no milk..."

Gazans are literally trapped in a battle zone. Ken Bacon, President of Refugees International states, "In similar situations around the world, civilians caught in the midst of conflict would have the option of seeking safety in neighboring countries as refugees. Gazans have no such option, as both Israel and Egypt restrict access for Palestinians to their territory."

Electricity is also scarce and many of Gaza's 1.5 million residents live in high-rise buildings. According to Catholic Relief Services Gaza Field Manager Omar Shaban, "...Imagine how people can live without electricity trying to make it to and from high floors."

Getting humanitarian workers safely in and out of Gaza has proven to be extremely difficult. Many aid organizations have suspended activities and are relying on local partners to transport supplies. According to Mercy Corps staffer Wafa Ulliyan who fled Gaza City in late December and is living with her husband, young daughter, two sisters, and ten other family members, "No one feels safe. There is continuous shelling, no electricity for two days, and every night the children are in a panic." Since leaving Gaza City, Ulliyan has been unable to reach those she left behind.

American humanitarian organizations welcome diplomatic efforts to encourage a cease fire but remain concerned that time is being wasted by political positioning and finger-pointing. John Prideaux-Brune, Oxfam's Country Director in Jerusalem, says, "Every day that passes without a truce is costing innocent lives. Foreign diplomats, governments, and parties to the conflict must stop wasting time apportioning blame and give priority to humanitarian imperatives over political objectives."

To improve their ability to respond to the crisis in Gaza, U.S.-based aid groups are suggesting the following actions:

  • Unimpeded access for humanitarian agency staff - both local and expatriate.
  • An Israeli protocol for supply shipments that processes approvals in one week.
  • Re-supply of cash to banking institutions.
  • Re-supply of benzene and diesel fuel.
  • Safe passage for U.N. and NGO vehicles delivering supplies throughout the Gaza strip.

Aid groups are continuing their efforts to engage Bush administration officials, President-elect Obama's team, and the new Congress on humanitarian needs in Gaza.

To read more about the efforts of individual humanitarian agencies working in Gaza and to view a regularly updated and comprehensive list of crisis responders, visit www.interaction.org/gaza

InterAction has also developed guidelines on the most appropriate ways to help those affected by overseas disasters: http://www.interaction.org/disaster/guide_giving.html.

InterAction is an alliance of more than 170 U.S.-based private relief, international development and refugee assistance organizations. InterAction members have agreed to abide by a set of standards to ensure accountability to donors, professional competence and quality of service.


'/>"/>
SOURCE InterAction
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. United Animal Nations Offers Financial Assistance Grants of up to $500 to Help Southern California Fire Victims Obtain Vet Care, Temporary Boarding for Pets
2. UniCare Announces Temporary Pharmacy Guidelines for Customers Affected by the California Wildfires
3. Homeless cells find temporary lodging -- and their demise
4. Aviva Belsky Promoted to Publisher of Contemporary Surgery
5. Some types of temporary neurological problems associated with increased risk for stroke, dementia
6. Temporary Amnesia, Confusion Raise Stroke, Dementia Risk
7. WuXi PharmaTech (NYSE: WX) Names Temporary Chairman of the Audit Committee
8. Statement by SEIU International President Andy Stern Regarding CNA Temporary Restraining Order
9. Temporary dentures improve patients smiles and overall health
10. Drug Effective for Temporary Sleep Disruptions
11. Unitemp Announces Unprecedented Temporary Staffing Services Guarantee
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, ... remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and ... Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , For ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Lake Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June ... ... direction with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These ... tolerable intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding ... of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. ... James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... A recent article published June 14 on E Online details ... to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not only the ... and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians (BHP) notes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that ... chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent ... special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  In a startling report released ... failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate ... a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the worst drug ... only four states – Kentucky , ... Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, three – ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Capricor ... ), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, ... that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne ... exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects ... third quarter of 2016, and to report top ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , ... Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: